2017 had been an exceptional year for Brussels Airport’s cargo business. Volumes went up by about 10 percent, additional ground handlers received their CEIV certification, BRUcloud became a common data tool for many freight firms doing business at BRU, DHL started a B747-400F around-the-world flight, and so on and so forth. Here, Head of Cargo Steven Polmans delivers his 2018 outlook.
CFG: Steven, will BRUcargo develop with the same velocity in 2018 as it did last year or rather take a breather in the months to come?
Steven Polmans: Although I would not be against a slower growth rate, I am expecting that in 2018 we will experience a similar growth as in 2017 of around 10%. We have several investments lined up and are bringing some investments forward in order to cope with this growth and are pushing our handlers and other stakeholders to do the same.
CFG: At the TIACA Executive Summit last October in Miami you became Vice Chairman of the renowned freight organization. What effect will this have for the cargo business at your home airport Brussels?
SP: Considering the time I am devoting to TIACA for the moment, I hope at least not a negative effect. :-) It will require me to better balance my time and manage my agenda, and I hope that everything I do for TIACA together with so many others will bring good for our industry in general rather than for individuals.
CFG: Night flights at Brussels Airport have always been a delicate political issue influencing BRU’s freight and express traffic, jeopardizing jobs in cargo. Your personal view: Is the situation expected to ease up in 2018 or will the fronts further harden?
SP: The fact is that it’s not the night flights causing concern which shows already the complexity of the problem and the confusion it creates by many. The Brussels Regional Government is using local noise rules in their discussions and negotiation with the Federal Government. As elections are coming up next year, I am not expecting many changes in this political file.
CFG: Steven, we like to thank you for your time and the answers given.
Interview: Heiner Siegmund