Air, Freight News

Rickenbacker’s Upgraded Animal Transport Facility Benefits Livestock Industry Logistics

[ July 27, 2018   //   ]

Rickenbacker International Airport’s recently renovated animal transport facility enhances the convenience and personal service offered to the logistics and agricultural industries.

The extensive project included a wide range of upgrades to maximize operational efficiency and ensure animal safety. The facility recently earned U.S. Department of Agriculture status as both a certified Export Inspection Facility and a Permanent Port of Embarkation for livestock. Fewer than 50 such facilities exist nationwide, with Rickenbacker being the only one in Ohio.

“Our self-sufficient, world-class facility benefits all those involved in the animal transport process,” said Joseph R. Nardone, President & CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which operates the airport. “Our customers can handle the resting and inspection processes in a safe, quiet area that is minutes away from waiting aircraft. Most importantly, the animals are under less stress because they spend less time in transport with fewer stops along the way.”

Twelve new animal stalls provide space for livestock to rest before being inspected and exported. The on-site USDA office and restrooms also were completely renovated. The secured facility provides convenient access from public roads and direct access to the airfield. Baker Livestock and Horse Transport is the airport’s certified animal ground handling agent with more than 25 years of experience.

The airport, which shippers and air carriers have used for the past three years to export livestock, initiated the project at the beginning of the year to serve growing demand. Horses most commonly pass through the facility, but it is certified for equines, ruminants and swine.
Airport staff designed and supervised the six-month, $423,000 project. Palmetto Construction Services of Columbus was the general contractor.