Rockford’s lucky Nippon 13

BY the end of December Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) will operate 13 flights through Chicago-Rockford Airport (US), following the start of services in November.

Up to three out of 11 weekly frequencies are normally routed through the larger Chicago O’Hare Airport, boosting Rockford as a US gateway for Asian cargo.

“We want to see if we can create some operating flexibility by running flights through Rockford,” Shawn McWhorter, NCA’s president for the Americas, commented.

Full container or pallet-load shipments touching down at Rockford will be trucked by the carrier directly to forwarders’ facilities around O’Hare.

Rockford has endeavoured to establish itself as an alternative to the expensive and congested major gateways, by emphasising faster turnaround times and lower operating costs. The airport’s landing fees are almost 65 per cent lower than O’Hare’s. Square footage cost at Rockford is about 30 per cent of the charge at O’Hare.

The major drive behind the cargo airline’s decision to land at Rockford is the impending arrival of the carrier’s first three 747-8 freighters next year.

“There are still some operational issues with the 747-8 at O’Hare,” McWhorter said. “You can fly in and use the taxiways, but you have to use remote parking positions. Those at the cargo terminal are not big enough for the 747-8. It works for carriers that operate off airport, like Korean Air or Polar. They can bring in the 747-8. We need to put the airplane behind the building.”

Share this story