DHL Express donates Wilmington to locals

AFTER long negotiations, DHL Express has finally donated its Wilmington Air Park and 1,500 acres to the local Clinton County Port Authority.

The gift came two years after the company withdrew its US freight hub from the area with the resulting loss of 8,000 jobs.

The air park is the largest privately owned airport in the US.

“Wow, what a day,” said Wilmington’s mayor, David Raizk. “There were times I thought this day would never come.”

Companies have already expressed interest in locating to the park but the authority admits that there are no firm commitments. However, with ownership secured negotiations can move forward more definitively.

Jon Olin, a DHL Express senior vice-president, said the port authority could sell space to whomever it wished, up to and including DHL Express’ competitors, although neither FedEx nor UPS has said they are interested.

So far, the only tenant is Air Transport Services Group, which has signed a nine-year lease, paying US$3 million a month.

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