Community collaboration leads to development of new air cargo terminal at Rickenbacker

The legacy of community collaboration in the Columbus Region continues with a public-private partnership that will develop a 100,000 square-foot air cargo terminal in a prime airside location at Rickenbacker International Airport, one of the world's few cargo-dedicated airports. Likewise, a new air traffic control tower, also the result of community partnership, is under construction.

The new air cargo facility, which is expected to be ready for occupancy by mid-2016, will be built on land that the Columbus Regional Airport Authority will lease to Distribution Land Corp. (DLC), a subsidiary of Mast Global. DLC will construct the facility and lease the space to companies that can benefit from this strategic location that allows for the expedited transfer of cargo between airplanes and trucks. The State of Ohio, JobsOhio and City of Columbus will join DLC and the Airport Authority in funding construction of the new cargo terminal and related airport infrastructure. State funding, critical to the project, is dependent upon Controlling Board approval.

Meanwhile, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners is assisting the Airport Authority with financing construction of a fully modernized air traffic control tower, which will replace the outdated 1950s facility. The new control tower is expected to be operational in early 2016.

"By leveraging the resources of the community, we share the risks and benefits to continue growing the nearly $3 billion in annual economic impact created by the Rickenbacker Inland Port," said Susan Tomasky, Board Chair of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. The Airport Authority operates Rickenbacker International Airport and will contribute over $9 million to the projects.

With scheduled international service by Cathay Pacific, Cargolux and Emirates airlines, the airport has experienced phenomenal growth over the last several years, including a 40 percent increase in cargo year-to-date. Industrial development is also booming, including recent new distribution centers for BASF, AmericanShowa and others, which contribute to over 60 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space in the area.

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