Rockford Airport infrastructure project to employ 400 workers

Dignitaries broke ground Monday on a 120,000-square-foot building at Chicago Rockford International Airport to expand operations for a current cargo tenant that carries packages for online retailer Amazon.

Airport director Mike Dunn said the project is valued at $10 million and the property will be leased to LGSTX Services Inc.

LGSTX is the parent of ABX Air, which carries packages for retail giant Amazon. ABX operates in 80,000 square feet at the airport, with Pinnacle Logistics moving the packages by truck.

Dunn said about 400 warehouse jobs will be added when the new building is operational. Construction must be completed in a year, he said.

About 100 dignitaries attended the groundbreaking, including U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and Sen. Dick Durbin, whom Dunn thanked for bringing $27 million in federal funding for various airport projects over the past five years.

Attendees also celebrated the start of construction on a new $3.5 million ramp for cargo aircraft parking, which is expected to be operational by October.

Those investments have helped the airport lure cargo operations. Nearly 1.4 billion pounds of cargo traveled through the airport last year, a 50 percent increase from 2016.

“We have been found,” Dunn said. “Things are happening here, and it’s very exciting.”

Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury told Dunn that he deserves credit for the airport’s success as an economic engine. “You know how to get through the red tape and get things done,” Jury said.