ROCKFORD — The Chicago Rockford International Airport, along with U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, on Thursday announced the construction of the new international cargo center at the Chicago Rockford International Airport.
It is anticipated that the first building and two of the six aircraft parking spots will be complete and operational by July 1. The remaining construction should be completed by Nov. 1.
The new 100,000 square-foot building will complement the 90,000 square-foot building announced last year. The project also includes a new ramp to accommodate six 747 aircraft and a new road off of Baxter Road to accommodate tractor-trailer traffic to and from the facility.
“I consider where we are right now here with Chicago Rockford International Airport to be one of the biggest economic drivers of not just Rockford but the surrounding communities,” Bustos said. “Because there is a continual effort to look not just one step ahead not just two steps ahead but three steps ahead what is going to come.”
Also in 2020, the airport announced an agreement with Senator International from Germany in which it was selected as Senator’s Midwest air hub. Since that announcement, RFD has entered into additional agreements with freight forwarders and airlines from around the globe to begin handling full planeloads of in-bound and out-bound international cargo.
The new international cargo center is being designed to accommodate daily multiple aircraft landings and departures containing international destination freight, officials said. The estimated total construction budget for the new facility is around $43 million, a figure that includes the construction of two buildings, a new ramp for airplane parking and a new road.
The airport is also working with U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to seek support from the FAA to build the new ramp.
Rockford’s Emery Air, an aircraft handling company, will operate the new facility.
“Adding this new element to the operations at RFD in addition to our UPS and Amazon operations, further elevates RFD as a world class and well-known airport throughout the world,” RFD Executive director Mike Dunn said.
Last year, Chicago Rockford was recognized as the world’s fastest-growing cargo airport.