Amazon to double size, and boost frequency at Chicago Rockford airport
E-COMMERCE giant Amazon plans to double its presence at Chicago Rockford International Airport, where it has been operating a 72,000-square foot facility for one year
E-COMMERCE giant Amazon plans to double its presence at Chicago Rockford International Airport, where it has been operating a 72,000-square foot facility for one year.
Aside from the 120,000-square foot expansion to the existing building, the plan also calls for an uptick in the number of cargo flights in and out of the facility.
Amazon currently runs seven flights each day at the airport. Chicago Rockford International, which is now one of Amazon's 'primary airports' says airport executive director Mike Dunn.
'Amazon flies in an out of 20 airports in the US but Rockford is in the top three,' he said
'We have been led to believe hiring will increase significantly,' said Mr Dun reported the Illinois News Network. 'We do know now with becoming permanent and with the expansion, there will be jobs made available in logistics and trucking and handling and fueling.'
Mr Dunn said the airport can handle whatever growth Amazon has in mind since the property has 3,000 acres of land available. Construction on the expanded facility is expected to be complete by mid-2019.
'I tell people that on a scale of one-to-ten, with ten being totally maximised and utilised, our airport isn't even past one right now. We have a very large facility with good infrastructure, so our capacity is huge.'
The Chicago Rockford Airport handled a record 1.4 million pounds of cargo in 2017 driven in large part by Amazon's growth. The facility surpassed that number in just the first ten months of this year.
'We're going to be disappointed if we don't go over two-million pounds in 2018, and if that happens, we'll be in the top 15 or 20 cargo airports in the country,' Mr Dunn said.
The Rockford airport already is UPS's second-largest air hub in North America.
'The cargo guys have figured out they can get in-and-out of Rockford much easier and satisfy their customers,' Mr Dunn said. 'We can get trucks from Rockford to distribution centres probably as fast as they can get them out of O'Hare.'