Following two years of stringent COVID protocols, disruptions in air service, decreasing rail cargo and supply chain aberrations, Huntsville International Airport saw operations and earnings begin to rebound and trend upward in FY22. The airport’s rapid post-pandemic growth was highlighted by a crowning achievement as the nation’s first commercial airport to receive licensing by the Federal Aviation Administration to land a commercial space vehicle.
Passenger traffic began to recover sharply within months of the COVID-19 vaccine’s availability. Even though this was welcome news to the airport, a new struggle began to emerge: the airlines weren’t quite prepared for the massive wave of passengers returning to the skies. Huntsville International experienced a phenomenon not seen in perhaps decades, that the majority of travelers through our doors were flying for leisure and not primarily business. In the midst of summer 2021, startup airline Breeze Airways chose Huntsville as one of its first cities to provide service primarily to leisure travelers, and this was a welcome shot in the arm for the airport and for the community seeking to take to the skies to visit family they had not seen in years or to take a postponed vacation.
Huntsville International was a recipient of $10 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Grant to facilitate terminal improvements needed to accommodate anticipated record traffic as the community grows.
Ongoing strategic initiatives have resulted in continued growth in our industrial park, while national recognition as the 21st largest international air cargo airport in the continental United States ensures the Port of Huntsville has earned its place among the elite in the global logistics marketplace.
New air cargo service confirmed the important position the Port of Huntsville holds in the global supply chain. Kerry Logistics Network began new Trans-Pacific air freight service in September 2021 linking multiple locations in Asia to the USA via its Huntsville hub. LATAM Group in collaboration with freight forwarder DSV relaunched its LATAM Star direct route to Brazil in June 2022 featuring same-day arrival.
We are proud to present this annual report that highlights the hard-won accomplishments our team achieved in FY22. There is much to celebrate at Huntsville International Airport, the International Intermodal Center, and the Jetplex industrial Park, not the least of which is the great opportunity to grow into an even more robust economic driver for North Alabama.
Our community is burgeoning with new business, new building, and an influx of new neighbors. Huntsville is fast becoming the powerful metropolitan economic engine envisioned for our state, and the mission of the Port of Huntsville carries more significance now than ever before: To provide quality, multi-modal transportation services to a diverse regional customer base and to stimulate the economic growth and development of the Tennessee Valley Region. We are grateful for your continued support of our enterprise as we serve this dynamic region.
Mark McDaniel – Board Chair
Luther “Butch” Roberts – CEO