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NEWS Last modified on October 20, 2014

Ground broken on new hangar facility at Chicago Rockford

The Greater Rockford Airport Authority (GRAA) has broken ground on the highly anticipated new hangar facility on the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) site.

Announced in August, the MRO facility is being built in partnership with international maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider AAR, who will pay the gateway $400,000-a-year to lease the space.

The $40 million, 200,000 sq ft facility, which sits on 13 acres, includes a 9 1/2-story jet hangar and is expected to operate 24-hours a day and generate more than 500 new jobs.

This development allows RFD to expand its capabilities to provide service and maintenance to the next generation of wide-body aircraft.

Airport officials are also hoping the MRO will help attract additional air cargo business to Rockford, and Mike Dunn, RFD executive director, explains: “This is a significant development that reinforces Rockford’s impact as a leading economic driver for the region.

“We are thankful for the efforts of Governor Quinn and Senator Durbin and are eager to share the progress of this facility.”

The hangar will be located in the midfield area of the airport on Cessna Drive, and construction has an anticipated completion date in late 2015.

Senator Dick Durbin, says the facility will be a major boost to the regional economy and to help jumpstart the state-of-the-art facility that's going to employ 500 people in good paying jobs.

He adds: “I'm proud to have played a role in the negotiations that took place over the course of the past two years between AAR, a first-class Illinois employer, and Rockford Airport taking full advantage of its own potential.

“Rockford and RFD have quietly, over the last two decades, developed into an aerospace giant with huge cargo operations, aviation manufacturers and suppliers, an expanding aviation training center, and now a first class MRO.”

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