Economy

You may notice more planes soaring over Louisville for the next few weeks.

This is the peak season for United Parcel Service and its Louisville-based air hub. The logistics giant will deliver more than 700 million packages around the world and is hiring 2,500 workers locally for the bustling holiday season.

Planning for the company’s busiest time of year happens in January — just after the previous peak season. By Labor Day, UPS planners have an idea about what additional flights they’ll need for the holiday season. The company coordinates with air traffic control and the regional airport authority to make sure there are no conflicts for airspace with passenger jets.

“First of all, we operate primarily at night for our next day air sort,” says Jim Mayer of UPS Airlines. “And at those times we’re normally the only carrier in the air.  

UPS flightsScreenshot/FlightAware

A screenshot of live UPS flight status via FlightAware (Click image to enlarge)

Mayer says UPS typically takes to the air during the 11 p.m – 3 a.m. window, and they’re usually the only carrier in the air during that time.

And Natalie Chaudoin with the Louisville Regional Airport Authority says there’s a coordinated effort to avoid keeping residents awake during the wee hours.

“One of the biggest things we do, specifically during the nighttime hours, is what we call contraflow,” says Chaudoin.

That’s when planes, weather permitting, arrive and depart south of the airport — where they fly over more businesses and fewer residences. So even as airliners zoom overhead this holiday season, Louisvillians should be able to get a good night’s rest.

Roxanne Scott covers the economy for WFPL News.