Menzies Aviation adds Chicago Rockford to US network

Written by: James Muir |
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Menzies Aviation is expanding its US network by moving into the International Cargo Center at Chicago Rockford International Airport.

Occupying Building 3, Menzies will provide cargo handling services to scheduled and charter services at the 50,000 square-foot facility.

The Greater Rockford Airport Authority approved the lease deal at a board meeting on 26 January and the 10 year lease will start on 1 June.

Mike Dunn, Executive Director of the airport says that over $200 million has been invested in cargo infrastructure in the past 8 years, driving economic development in the Rockford region and northern Illinois.

He said: “We’re pleased to be partnering with globally recognised air cargo handler Menzies Aviation. The Menzies investment in Chicago Rockford International Airport is testament to our airport infrastructure and the efficiencies that can be achieved in air cargo outside of the large passenger hub airports.”

Robert Fordree, Executive Vice President Cargo at Menzies Aviation, said: “With direct airside access, we will provide cargo and freighter handling to chartered and scheduled flights by the middle of this year and will be hiring a team to run our operations in the coming months. As well as fitting out the new facility, we are aiming for most of the ground service equipment to be electric to support Menzies’ goal of becoming neutral by 2033.”

Menzies will create 60-70 additional jobs including cargo service agents, cargo clerical operations agents, ramp agents, load masters and various leadership roles, with recruitment beginning in the second quarter.

Fordree added that the pandemic highlighted the importance of secondary airports, saying, “Despite the current, cyclical downturn in cargo volume, we see secondary airports becoming more attractive due to less congestion, lower costs and great surrounding infrastructure, which will expedite goods getting from airport to final destination. In combination, these benefits will result in significant carbon savings to the shippers. We are confident that, in partnership with Rockford, we will attract scheduled freighters and specialised cargo to be handled safely, efficiently and with the required certified standards applied.”

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