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  February 12th, 2016 | Written by

Rickenbacker Saw Success in 2015

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  • Rickenbacker International Airport and off-airport businesses account for an annual economic impact of $2 billion.
  • Emirates SkyCargo, Cathay Pacific Cargo, and Cargolux Airlines combine for nine international cargo flights weekly.
  • Foreign-Trade Zone #138 at Rickenbacker International Airport was named a top 10 FTZ in the U.S.

Rickenbacker International Airport enjoyed a strong 2015 and is poised for further growth in 2016.

The airport and select off-airport businesses account for over 20,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $2 billion.

Some of the many 2015 successes at Rickenbacker include new service by Emirates SkyCargo from Dubai and increased service to Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific Cargo. These two carriers, plus Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines, combine for nine international flights weekly. Amazon began building a one-million-square-foot fulfillment center while BASF began building its new facility both in the Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park. Foreign-Trade Zone #138 was again named a top 10 FTZ in the United States.

“Significant increases in cargo activity, a new international market and new facilities to accommodate growth will only add to the impressive economic impact cargo and logistics already provides the region,” said Elaine Roberts, CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. “After years of laying the ground work necessary for Rickenbacker to become a true global gateway for shippers and logistics providers, we are beginning to yield the results we always knew were possible by working collaboratively in the Columbus Region.”

These successes led to a $1.67 million operating surplus in 2015, the first of its kind since the airport’s operation was merged to become part of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which also operates Port Columbus International Airport and Bolton Field.

To meet the increasing demand for airport warehouse space, several community partners contributed funds to help build a new 100,000-square-foot expandable air cargo terminal and related infrastructure. This building, which will facilitate the efficient movement of air cargo between planes and trucks, will be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2016.

Community collaboration also led to another capital project, the construction of a new state-of-the-art air traffic control tower to replace the original World War II-era tower. It will also be operational in the spring of 2016.

“While we are very pleased with the 2015 operational performance, the capital costs to maintain an airport the size of Rickenbacker are significant,” said Roberts. “Continued partnerships and creative funding solutions will be critical to maintaining the thousands of jobs and growing economic impact to the area.”