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Anchorage airport air cargo traffic up in 2018

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Air cargo traffic at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport has increased during the first half of this year, state officials said.

Data from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities shows air tonnage increased 5.2 percent to more than 1.34 million metric tons from January to June, KTVA-TV reported Tuesday.

More than 150 wide-body freighter aircraft pass through Alaska's largest airport each day, ranking it among the busiest cargo airports in the world, according to the data.

The airport's location provides cargo access to cities on four continents, said Jim Szczesniak, the airport manager.

"Anchorage airport's strategic location gives air cargo operators the ability to fly fully-loaded aircraft between Asia, the United States, Europe and Latin America," Szczesniak said.

The airport's cargo network is also strengthened by a provision allowing airlines to transfer cargo between planes like they would passengers who make connecting flights.

"We are seeing air cargo customers utilize these special transfer rights to increase the efficiency of their networks and that gives them the ability to open new markets," Szczesniak said. "We are also seeing a lot of growth and interest in using ANC as a connection point between Asia and Latin America."

In an economic outlook report last month from the Anchorage Economic Development Corp., the airport is projected to continue seeing more cargo and passenger traffic over the next three years.