By JENNIFER NETHERBY Staff Reporter While debate at Burbank Airport has centered on passenger flight expansion, air cargo companies have been quietly increasing volume and even adding flights there. In 1998, Burbank saw a 10 percent jump in air cargo deliveries a 16 percent increase for Federal Express and 14 percent for UPS. The trend accelerated during January, when inbound air cargo jumped 43 percent over the like period a year ago. Federal Express, which had been operating only one daily flight at Burbank for outgoing cargo, added one permanent inbound cargo flight in December. The company started flights into Burbank 10 years ago as a way to avoid evening traffic and lengthen hours of delivering packages. “Federal Express sees Burbank as a critical area for hauling merchandise,” said Burbank Airport Authority spokesman Sean McCarthy. “We’re closer to downtown than LAX and there’s extra time to drop off packages.” The additional flight means an estimated $60,000 more in landing fees a year for the airport, McCarthy said. United Parcel Service has no plans to increase service. Still, the company saw a 30 percent jump in cargo volume in January. Deliveries to Burbank and other community airports have increased in part because fewer retailers are ordering products in bulk for their warehouses. Instead, they are turning to “just in time” deliveries that must be delivered faster, said UPS spokesman Bruce MacRae. Neither UPS nor Federal Express can expand too much in Burbank because of space constraints. They currently operate out of rented hangers and setup ramps at the airport.