Lakeland Linder Regional Airport Intermodal Feasibility
The purpose of the Intermodal feasibility study for Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL) was to assess potential means to improve the Airport’s financial performance, economic development, and overall operation. To accomplish this, the plan studied potential revenue enhancement initiatives, along with policy and managerial strategies. The recommended plan of action from this report prepared Airport Management for Amazon Air’s arrival in 2019. The Airport Director stated that without this business plan, they would not have been ready to accommodate Amazon’s air cargo hub at Lakeland. The recommended plan rested on six primary strategic initiatives:
1. Attract Airline/Air Cargo Service: This component of demand had the highest potential to generate revenues of the various scenarios considered. The study found that with airline service, return on assets (ROA) could be boosted by 1.8 percent, which is 180 percent of its existing ROA.
2. Secure U.S. Customs and Border Protection: CBP Services would permit international flights to clear Customs at the Airport. Fuel sales from these flights are significant and would increase overall revenues to the Airport. In addition, it would broaden the Airport brand and permit renaming of the Airport to include “International” in the title.
3. Attract More MRO Activity: Attracting more MROs to the Airport would facilitate the formation of a cluster industry at the Airport that could gain national/international recognition.
4. Increase GA and Military Activity: The primary business of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport was general aviation, with some military activity from Draken International. Therefore, strategies to increase this segment of the business carried weight in increasing overall Airport revenues.
5. Increase Intermodal Use of the Airport: In addition to airline passenger service, the potential attraction of international air cargo was important to LAL. The development of international air cargo, with U.S. Customs clearance services at LAL, was a priority of the feasibility study.
6. Non-Aviation Property Development: Revenues from non-aviation property leases could potentially yield more than $950,000 per year if all non-aeronautical property (87.2 acres) were converted to leasable space at the Airport.
7. Airport Rebranding: To truly expand its horizons, it was recommended that the Airport change its name and include “International” in the title.