Kentucky officials say the project means a $1.49 billion investment over several years, and the creation of 2,700 full- and part-time jobs in loading, unloading and sortation facilities.
Amazon.com said Tuesday it would build a massive hub for its expanding air operations at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport in Hebron, in the northern part of the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky officials say the project means a $1.49 billion investment by Amazon over several years, and the creation of 2,700 full- and part-time jobs in loading, unloading and sortation facilities.
The move places the center of Amazon’s air operations in an area that’s thick with the company’s warehouses and that’s geographically well situated to serve a far-flung e-commerce dominion.
Until now, Amazon’s fledgling air-cargo fleet had been running out of a facility in Wilmington, Ohio, home of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), one of the two firms that operate jets leased by Amazon. That facility is expected to close eventually.
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The new hub would boost the already significant number of Amazon employees in the area. The company says on its website it employs more than 12,000 people in Kentucky. Amazon says it employs 6,000 people in Ohio, just across the border from the hub.
The company says it plans to offer jobs at “any Amazon site across the U.S.” to the workers currently sorting packages in Wilmington.
Amazon has leased 40 jets from ATSG and Atlas Air Worldwide to speed up the delivery of products to members of its $99-a-year Prime loyalty program. So far, 16 of these airplanes are flying in the operation, Prime Air.
Amazon’s incursion into airfreight is part of a major focus on logistics by an e-commerce giant that says it’s growing so fast that it needs to complement traditional logistics providers such as FedEx and UPS.
The deal was announced after the Kenton County Airport Board approved a 50-year lease for Amazon, according to a news release from Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s press office. State authorities preliminarily approved $40 million in tax incentives for Amazon.