ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation announces $677 million in infrastructure grants to 214 airports in 43 states, including the Chicago Rockford International Airport.
About 250,000 passengers travel through RFD each year and that number is growing. It also has more airplanes flying into the airport on a daily basis, so it’s now in need of more room.
The airport says it is very excited about the grant because it will be used in helping with its future expansion projects. $3 million will be used to expand its cargo apron where planes park. $2 million will be used to expand the terminal building because the FAA determined the growth in passengers was too high for the amount of space currently in the terminal. Executive Director Mike Dunn says the airport is a chief economic engine within the area, allowing for more jobs to flourish.
"The customers that we have in the airport have added 1,000 jobs in the last 12 months and from everything we're hearing from them, we're anticipating another 1,000 jobs between now and the end of the year and early next year, so it is a major employment opportunity for a lot of people in this community," said Mike Dunn, the Executive Director of the Greater Rockford Airport Authority.
Dunn says the U.S. infrastructure and its more than 3,000 airports are an essential factor in improving the quality of life for those who travel.
RFD is in its second phase of its $25 million, 3-year expansion project of the terminal. The final phase of remodeling will take place next year.