Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport wants to boost its cargo volume with a new incentive program. A Cargoitalia plane at Atlanta is shown here.

BRADENTON, Fla. - Atlanta hopes a new financial incentive program will stimulate international air cargo and passenger growth at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Atlanta already is the busiest airport for passengers and aircraft movements in the world, while other U.S. airports rank higher in terms of cargo shipments.

FedEx hub Memphis International Airport is the second-busiest in the world for cargo volume.

Atlanta's recently approved incentive program will cost up to $2 million annually over the next 5 years, and is intended to boost air service particularly on routes that link Atlanta to cities in countries that have some of the world's fastest-growing economies and air cargo traffic.

The program is primarily designed to develop the airport as a cargo and logistics hub, and comes at a time when air cargo and passenger traffic continues to increase worldwide.

"With this new incentive program, Hartsfield-Jackson will be better positioned to attract additional passenger and cargo carriers to Atlanta," said Hartsfield-Jackson Interim General Manager Miguel Southwell. "As the world's busiest airport, we are continually looking at ways to grow new routes and expand our cargo capacity, and this will certainly boost our global competitiveness."

The incentive program in Atlanta will start this summer, and will waive landing fees for one year for airlines starting new international routes.

The airport will also match as much as 50% of promotional funds up to $25,000 for new passenger service and cargo carriers can qualify for a waiver of aircraft parking fees.

Additional waivers and incentives, such as a two-year waiver of landing fees, will be offered to carriers starting service to the major emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Carriers starting service to Africa, Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia will also receive extra consideration.

Total fee waivers and promotional funds will be capped at $2 million a year, and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

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