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US, German airports join forces to boost cargo connection

Chicago Rockford and Cologne Bonn airports are collaborating on cargo, e-commerce to attract more cargo airlines on trans-Atlantic route. ( More...

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bartmiller 2
KRFD has had a difficult time since the recession in the 1980's. Janesville (WI), Beloit (WI) and Rockford (IL) and that whole region go hit hard. With the recession, businesses closed, schools were closed, and the downtown had many empty buildings and storefronts. Only recently has there been a partial and slow recovering, with an attempt to make the Rock River riverfront more attractive.

Chrysler came to Rockford in the 1960s and this whole region supported American car manufacturing. (You can still see one of the reactivated car plants on the north side of I-80 as you drive towards Chicago.) The recession killed many of these plants.

The airport tried to rebrand itself as Rockford Chicago International, as reliever airport for KORD, but that had limited success.

Now, the majority of commercial flight activity is due to the UPS hub. And now, we're seeing more Amazon Air flights as well. These folks are good for airport use because most of the activity is in the wee hours of morning, leaving the airport pretty open to general aviation for the rest of the day and evening.

We flew there recently (from KMSN ... short flight) with our bikes in the plane and rode downtown. Pleasant enough along the river. There are a couple of blocks that are revived and many still empty. Had some decent pizza there.

Good to see KRFD get more cargo business. Can really use the economic development. The airport is pretty big, with 10,000' and 8200' runways. It's well clear of KORD's arrival and departure paths, but still well connected, with I-80 and train yards nearby. About 1.5 hour drive to either Milwaukee or downtown Chicago..

Eric Kulisch 2
Appreciate the insights. Very interesting perspectives.


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