Retail giant Amazon chose the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport for its next air cargo hub over the Wilmington Air Park in Clinton County, Ohio officials said.
CVG will lease 900 acres to Amazon, where the online retailer will make a $1.49 billion investment and create 2,700 new jobs, according to airport spokeswoman Mindy Kershner.
Ohio officials said they were disappointed by the Amazon choice. It’s the second time the Wilmington airport has been picked over in the past decade by a major company to move their operations to CVG in Northern Kentucky.
Germany-based DHL left the airport with more than 7,000 jobs in 2008 for CVG to create its North American hub.
“To say I am disappointed by today’s news from Amazon is an understatement—I have always been confident that the state of Ohio and the people of Clinton County have done everything in their power to make Wilmington an attractive and hospitable place for not only Amazon, but other companies as well,” said Ohio House Speaker Cliff Roseberger.
The hub will serve as a centralized location for Seattle-based Amazon’s growing fleet of Prime Air cargo planes, according to Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority documents. Amazon began leasing 40 dedicated cargo planes for their Prime shipping service last year, 16 of which are currently operating, according to the company.
“As we considered places for the long-term home for our air hub operations, Hebron quickly rose to the top of the list with a large, skilled workforce, centralized location with great connectivity to our nearby fulfillment locations, and an excellent quality of living for employees,” Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations, said in a release. “We feel strongly that with these qualities as a place to do business, our investments will support Amazon and customers well into the future.”
Amazon’s Prime Air hub at CVG will support Amazon’s dedicated fleet of Prime Air cargo planes by loading, unloading and sorting packages.
Amazon has been operating an air-transport network with Air Transport Services Group in Wilmington for more than a year. The company didn’t say if they’d be making any changes to their air cargo operations in Wilmington as a result of the CVG hub, but did say they planned to offer jobs at any Amazon site in the U.S. to their Wilmington employees.
It is not clear how many workers Amazon has in Wilmington. It could be several hundred, said Dan Evers, executive director of the Clinton County Port Authority.
Ever said Wilmington was a finalist for the Amazon operation.
“Obviously this is disappointing and we will be working with local officials to help respond to any workers who may be impacted,” said Emmalee Kalmbach, a spokeswoman for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Amazon already has a large “fulfillment center” warehouse in Hebron. Outside of Boone, they also have facilities in Bullitt, Clark, Fayette, Jefferson and Taylor counties, employing more than 10,000 across Kentucky.
The company also has a brick-and-mortar store near the University of Cincinnati.
Amazon announced earlier this month that it plans to create more than 100,000 new positions by 2018. The company already employs 180,000 people.
This story contains additional reporting from Reporter Kara Driscoll, WCPO and the Columbus Dispatch.
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