The Airforwarders Association (AfA) has appointed senior lobbyist Michael Taylor, Managing Partner, Diakon Partners, to help maintain its pressure on US Congress for urgent investment in air cargo infrastructure at US airports.
Taylor will represent the interests and concerns of both AfA and its partners, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), having set three key objectives, including the education of key Members of Congress about the economic importance of air cargo, the critical need for investment in air cargo at US airports, recommended actions, and the costs of inaction.
“AfA’s engagement of Mr. Michael Taylor in this critical role will greatly enhance our efforts to convince members of Congress of the urgent need to strengthen US air cargo to enable it to thrive as the critical link it is in the global supply chain and to protect the many thousands of jobs it creates,” said Brandon Fried, Executive Director, AfA.
“Both AfA and the NCBFAA set up the Congestion Committee in 2022 to conduct an inquiry, and its findings were conclusive that investment in air cargo infrastructure at the federal level across the US was vital.”
In addition to educating Congress on the importance and value of the US air cargo industry, Taylor will be campaigning to gain support from influential Members of Congress sitting on the Appropriations Committees to be champions in support of the effort to relieve airport cargo area congestion.
Taylor has more than 30 years of government and public affairs experience at the international, federal, state, and local levels, along with more than 15 years of experience in multimodal transportation policy.
“Over the past decade, one of the primary financial mainstays of the aviation industry has been air cargo: this has never been more clear than in the face of the COVID pandemic,” said Fried.
“Having sustained the aviation industry and, in large measure, regional economies and the morale of the population, both AfA and NCBFAA members are reliant on investment if air cargo infrastructure is to be able to support the demands of the sector for the future.”
In 2022 AfA, NCBFAA, and the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) formed the Airport Congestion Committee (ACC) to focus on developing solutions in the areas of technology and automation; service standards; airport facilities and infrastructure; staffing and hours of operation; and regulatory and paperwork challenges.
The five critical issues were identified following a survey of airport cargo stakeholders resulting in a Recommendation Paper for private, public, and government entities highlighting challenges and suggesting solutions for cargo congestion issues at airports.