It is becoming apparent that Amazon’s strategy for growing its air cargo operation includes diversifying its U.S. operations network beyond the gates of the growing hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG). This week, Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) said that the e-commerce giant plans to more than double its footprint at the airport and bump up the number of cargo flights it operates out of RFD, according to Illinois News Network.
This news follows the announcement from two weeks ago, when Amazon released its plans to relaunch operations at Wilmington (ILN), which it had previously departed in favor of nearby CVG. By the second quarter of 2019, Amazon Air will operate flights out of both airports.
The e-commerce giant has been operating at the Chicago Rockford International Airport facility for about a year. It currently utilizes a 72,000-square-foot facility at RFD and runs seven flights out of the hub per day. According to RFD’s executive director, Mike Dunn, Amazon plans to increase its capacity with a 120,000 square-foot addition, to be completed in mid-2019. Dunn said he expects to witness flight frequencies from the carrier increase, in turn.
“In my mind, the biggest thing that happened yesterday was the fact that Amazon itself made it official that Chicago Rockford International is now one of their primary airports,” Dunn told Illinois News Network. “They fly in and out of 20 airports in the U.S., but Rockford is in the top three.”