Chicago Rockford Airport breaks ground on Cargo Center expansion

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July 03, 2018: A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new 120,000-square-foot building expansion at the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) Cargo Center. During the event, RFD also celebrated the start of construction on a new $3.5 million ramp for cargo aircraft parking.

For both projects, the airport is partnering with local construction companies. The ramp expansion project is expected to be completed by October 2018 whereas the new cargo building is projected to be completed by July 2019.

“Our significant growth in cargo activity at RFD over the last two years has fueled the need for this ongoing and continued airport cargo facilities expansion and we expect to continue to see a need for these types of projects,” said Mike Dunn, executive director at RFD.

The airport continues to receive federal funding to support expansions and expects to see this continue as RFD has more than 1,000 acres of land to support additional projects.

Earlier this month the US Department of Transportation, with support from Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, announced $677 million in infrastructure grants for 214 airports, one of which is for the RFD facility expansion project.

The ramp expansion is in addition to the federally funded $5.5 million ramp expansion completed in late 2017. The total cargo apron will allow support for eight aircraft.

"The improvement projects being carried out at the Chicago Rockford International Airport will not only allow the airport to keep up with growing demands for cargo operations, they are critical for Illinois' transportation infrastructure and the regional economy," Durbin said.

"Since 2015, I've worked with Congresswoman Bustos and Senator Duckworth to help secure more than $27 million in federal funding for the airport's improvement projects, and we stand ready to ensure this airport continues to be successful in providing reliable air service and creating new economic opportunities for many years to come."

The airport has processed nearly 1.4 billion pounds of cargo in 2017, a 50 percent increase over the year before.

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