Amazon Air to expand Chicago Rockford operation

Amazon Air is expanding its presence at Chicago Rockford International (RFD) as it looks to add extra capacity at the Illinois hub.
The airport confirmed reports that the expansion will see the e-commerce firm increase the 72,000 sq ft facility it has been working out of at the airport over the last year and a half, operated by LGSTX, by an extra 120,000 sq ft and will take over the lease of the facility.
The project is expected to cost around $11m and is due to be completed in July 2019.
The other part of the expansion, which has already been completed at a cost of $10m, increased the number of aircraft parking spaces that Amazon has access to from three to eight.
The investment is in line with an increase in the number of flights carried out by Amazon at the airport – it initially operated two-three flights per day from RFD but is now flying seven times per day.
News that expansion to the cargo part of RFD was being carried out broke in July of this year. However, at that time it was not known that the work was being completed for Amazon.
“We are excited to extend our Amazon Air operation at Chicago Rockford International Airport,” said Sarah Rhoads, director of Amazon Air.
“We are expanding the operation in Rockford to ensure we have the capacity to continue to fulfill our promise to our customers.”
The facility will enable increased capacity and package sortation for shipments bound for their destination.
The expansion is also expected to create new jobs at the airport as the town of Rockford continues its turnaround – it was previously a centre of manufacturing but many jobs moved overseas and there has been a concerted community effort over the last 12-15 years to turn the situation around.
”We are thrilled to see this expansion,” said Rockford mayor Tom McNamara. “This says a lot about the investments we have made as a community coupled with the great leadership from the director and board to ensure that our Airport continues to be a driving economic force for our community and region.”
Amazon Air currently operates out of more than 20 airports across the US. A report covered by Air Cargo News last week revealed the extent of its services and the impact it was having on the revenues of FedEx and UPS.
The e-commerce giant operates a fleet of 40 freighters, 20 through ATSG and 20 through Atlas Air, and is expected to continue to grow its fleet.
The $1.5bn air hub it is building at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport has space for 100 aircraft.
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