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Transportation: Airports See Revival; Toyota Flexes Toward Renewable Power

By wmadministrator

Private jets fly in for the Kentucky Derby. Louisville Regional Airport Authority, Standiford Field Airport and Bowman Field during Derby time

Kentucky’s powerful transportation industry sector expects progress and success in 2022. The airports foresee recovery of significant parts of the passenger business that had to cancel many plans due to pandemic considerations in 2020-21. Freight traffic will continue to be a strength, driven by Kentucky’s logistics sector, which has been a big beneficiary of the online shopping boom the pandemic prompted. Vehicle makers, Kentucky’s biggest manufacturing sector, see the green light the marketplace is giving to renewable energy and accelerating a move toward environmental sustainability. Toyota is putting nearly half a billion more dollars into its operation in Georgetown to begin assembling advanced hydrogen-powered drivetrains for large trucks.

“The aviation sector has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. There were signs of recovery in 2021 with increased passenger traffic nationwide and locally at CVG. We believe leisure and business travel will continue to rebound in 2022. We anticipate passenger traffic to return to 75-80% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022. CVG remains North America’s seventh-largest cargo airport and has experienced nearly 100% growth in tonnage volume over the last five years. Anchored by DHL and Amazon’s continued success, 2022 should prove another strong year and will provide increased jobs and economic growth for Northern Kentucky and the commonwealth.”

Candace McGraw CEO, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

“The record-breaking momentum at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) is expected to continue into 2022. Passenger traffic is forecasted to exceed pre-pandemic levels and area travelers can now get to more places than ever with more than 35 nonstop destinations on eight airlines—the most in the airport’s history. Determined to provide the best experience, progress is evident on $400 million in terminal and airfield improvements, including the new geothermal system that will be the largest at any airport in the country. SDF continues its crucial role in delivering lifesaving cargo around the globe as the fifth busiest cargo airport in the world (and third in North America) while contributing to national and global economic activity. The future of the region’s air service options and cargo operations remain bright at SDF.”

Dan Mann Executive Directorm Louisville Regional Airport Authority

“In 2022, we are hopeful the aviation industry will remain on the path to recovery and passenger travel continues to surge. Our team will advocate with the airlines to reinstate our pre-pandemic, non-stop destinations, and we will seek to enhance the guest experience in the terminal. This spring, Blue Grass Airport will offer a full array of amenities with the reopening of The Club at Blue Grass (executive lounge), valet parking services and new electric vehicle charging stations. Nursing mothers will also enjoy the added benefit of a quiet retreat designed especially for them.”

Eric Frankl Executive Director, Blue Grass Airport

“TARC and public transportation are on the move in 2022. Increased capital funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill means new buses, better facilities for customers and a renewed interest in equity and access for all of our community. A renewed focus on environmental innovation means that we can begin to see both the sustainability and financial benefits from electrification and emissions reductions. The tight labor market will loosen as everyone gets comfortable with our new normal, and TARC will be able to enhance service offerings to meet the needs of a more robust workforce for all sectors.”

Carrie Butler Executive Director, Transit Authority of the River City

“2021 was an exciting year for Toyota Kentucky, marking our 35th anniversary and many historic milestones. In August, Toyota announced TMMK’s engine plant as the site for assembling hydrogen fuel cell drivetrains for heavy-duty commercial trucks, expanding our portfolio of electrified products. In October, we announced a $460 million investment to transform the Georgetown plant into a more flexible operation capable of producing SUVs and electric vehicles, along with a new direct-hire model that will enhance our ability to recruit top talent. Our team is poised to help lead the charge in Toyota’s electrified future, all while reducing our carbon impact. We will continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages in the year ahead. Still, I am hopeful that we will overcome those challenges while charting the course for the next 35-plus years of Toyota manufacturing in the Bluegrass.”

Susan Elkington President Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky