By CHRIS DENINA Staff Reporter The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena airport saw a nosedive in air cargo volume in August, according to this month’s Valley Econowatch. While the 22.8 percent drop from the like year-earlier period was largely due to the United Parcel Service strike, all other cargo carriers also reported drop-offs for August, compared with the year-earlier period. Year to date, air cargo volume at the Burbank airport is 9.76 percent below the like period of last year. “It is always a cause for concern when we see a decrease in an operation that generates a substantial amount of our revenues,” said Sean McCarthy, a spokesman for the airport. “We are in competition with all the other airports in the area for this service, and it’s up to the airlines and freight haulers to decide if it’s worth the drive to LAX or Ontario.” But McCarthy said the drop-off in cargo volume is not a point of great concern to airport officials. First, the airport’s revenues come from landing fees that are based each plane’s total landing weight, including the weight of the plane. So even dramatic drops in cargo weight do not represent significant drops in total landing weight. In addition, this year’s drop in cargo volume has been partially offset by a 123 percent rise in the volume of U.S. mail flowing through the airport, year to date. (U.S. mail volume is reported separately from cargo volume.) “The U.S. Post Office is in process of conducting an experiment to see whether mail can be moved more efficiently to its primary clearinghouse in Santa Clarita, rather than flying into LAX and dealing with the traffic,” he said. UPS air cargo volume through Burbank was just 602,397 pounds in August, a 64.2 percent drop from the August 1996 level. In August, UPS only had 18 flights out of Burbank, as opposed to 46 flights the month before. UPS accounted for just 10.9 percent of Burbank’s total air cargo volume in August, while in August 1996 it accounted for 40.8 percent of the airport’s total air cargo. Other airlines that experienced sharp drops in Burbank cargo volume in August included: Skywest (down 64.6 percent), American Airlines (down 56.3 percent), and United Airlines (47.0 percent). The Burbank airport’s overall inbound cargo plummeted to 2.1 million pounds, down 34.4 percent from August 1996. And outbound cargo dropped to 3.5 million pounds, down 13.8 percent.