Rockford International Airport is soaring to new heights! (I would like to immediately like to apologize for the proceeding pun…)

So the ACI (Airports Council International), which I’ll be honest I JUST learned was a thing, announced today that Chicago Rockford International Airport is the FASTEST growing airport in the nation! *chanting* 815!!! 815!!! 815!!!

RFD handled 2.1 billion, THAT’S BILLION, pounds of cargo. ALSO that’s close to 50% MORE than their 2017 total of 1.4 billion pounds.

This is large part thanks to of course RFD being the number 2 hub for UPS package delivery and it saw an air traffic increase of 56% thanks to being an Amazon package delivery hub.

“We’re honored by this recognition and continue to move forward with additional economic development opportunities to benefit our partners and the region we serve,” said Mike Dunn, RFD Executive Director. “These objective, third-party rankings continue to solidify our position to grow the initiatives for the leaders in the air cargo industry we work with while steadily employing more people in our community.”

Lest you think to yourself “pffft…I bet with all those Amazon and UPS deliveries happening all the time; EVERYONE is growing…”

Not so fast Jack! (Or…Jane…whatever your name may be…I don’t know your life) According to the FAA, RFD was the only Illinois-based airport which grew its cargo operations. Nearby Chicago O’Hare Airport saw a decrease of cargo activity by more than 35 percent. TAKE THAT CHICAGO!!! Where’s my Rockford Art Deli t-shirt to honor that! Here’s the pitch Art Deli. A picture of an airplane flying from Chicago to Rockford and it says “Taking Flights…TO ROCKFORD!!!” Throw an 815 in there somewhere and boom…I’d buy 3!

Now granted alot of us may not be using RFD for travel, although the list of destinations it has access to is growing…watch out Midway, I personally would flip out if RFD somehow managed to snake an airline out here that shall remain nameless but is the opposite of Northeast…seriously…bags fly free…amazing.

The fact remains that this distinction means more commerce is happening out here and that means more jobs could be coming too. Nearly 1,000 jobs were created last year, through new and existing tenants as well as construction-related jobs to support the growth. The airport expects to see an additional 1,000 jobs added throughout 2020.

I’ve never heard of a situation where more jobs was a bad thing…OOO!!!! Art Deli!!! You still reading? Pitch number 2: Same idea…airplane flying from Chicago to Rockford only this time it says “More Flights; More Jobs-RFD Flyin’ High in 2020”; Again throw 815 in there somewhere and boom…I’d buy 3 more.

-AverageJoe; Livin’ in the 815

p.s. – The ACI is the trade association of the world’s airports and fosters cooperation among its 646 members, operating 1,960 airports in 176 countries.

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