Menzies Aviation Onsite at RFD, Fully Operational as of July
ROCKFORD — The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) is pleased to officially welcome Menzies Aviation, the world’s largest aviation services provider with operations in 60-plus countries, to its campus.
RFD along with Menzies Aviation announced in February the company would expand its U.S. cargo operations to Rockford. On June 1, a 10-year lease of Building 3 of the International Cargo Center began.
Officials at Menzies Aviation say the company will be fully operational in July to provide cargo and freighter handling services to chartered and scheduled flights. Over the past month, Menzies ground service equipment (GSE) has arrived and necessary IT was connected.
Menzies Aviation is leading the way in sustainability efforts for its sector. Once all GSE orders arrive, more than 50 percent of motorized equipment will be electric, with the goal of all RFD operations becoming fully electric. Globally, Menzies has an electric-first approach to new motorized GSE and is aiming for 25 percent GSE to be electric by 2025 as part of a longer-term goal of being net-zero by 2045.
“We look forward to announcing our first customers and will actively recruit to meet our customers’ needs,” said Menzies Aviation General Manager at RFD Saif Lambaz. “We will offer both global air cargo and freighter handling and we are currently speaking to scheduled freighter operators to highlight the operational savings that could be made at RFD.”
Over the past eight years, RFD has invested over $200 million in air cargo operations. The investment has helped build RFD as one of the largest economic engines in the Rockford region and Northern Illinois and grown RFD’s ability to handle large scale operations while remaining efficient and providing partners with the ability to move goods faster.
“Menzies Aviation is a globally recognized air cargo handler. Their occupancy at RFD is testament to our airport infrastructure and the efficiencies that can be achieved in air cargo outside of the large passenger hub airports,” said Mike Dunn, Executive Director of RFD. “We look forward to developing our partnership with Menzies Aviation and proudly welcome them to the RFD community.”
Menzies Aviation will create approximately70 additional jobs on airport grounds, including cargo service agents, cargo clerical operations agents, ramp agents, load masters, in addition to leadership positions.
Over the past several years, the reliability of smaller, secondary airports, like RFD, has been highlighted because of ease of access, sustainable and lower-cost fuel operations, longevity of aircraft, lower overall costs, and a stable workforce. Menzies cited RFD’s size, location and “can do” attitude as selling points for its latest cargo location.
RFD is home to the second-largest UPS hub in North America, a major base of operations for Amazon Air, and serves numerous international airlines and freight forwarders including DB Schenker, Maersk, ABX Air, ATI, and Atlas Air. With the airport’s ongoing cargo expansion, Rockford has become a Midwest hub for e-commerce and international freight.
About Menzies Aviation
Menzies Aviation is the leading service partner to the world’s airports and airlines, with operations on six continents, at 254 airports in 58 countries, serving more than 4 million flights a year and handling over 2 million tonnes of cargo. Supported by a team of over 40,000 highly trained people, the company provides complex and time-critical ground services, including passenger, lounge and ramp services; air cargo services, including handling, warehousing and wholesale freight forwarding; and fuel services, including fuel farm management and into-plane fuelling.
Menzies Aviation is recognised across the industry for delivering the safest, most secure and sustainable services tailored to customers’ needs and is essential to keeping passengers, aircraft and cargo moving, round the clock, every minute of every day.
Menzies Aviation is headquartered in London, and since its founding in 1833, has become the largest aviation services group in the world by number of countries.
About Chicago Rockford International Airport
The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) is home to a continually growing air cargo industry and is ranked as the 13th largest airport in the United States for air cargo with more than 3.4 billion pounds of landed weight in 2022. The airport is home to the second-largest UPS hub in North America and a major base of operations for Amazon Air.
The Airport campus also encompasses an aviation maintenance repair facility (AAR) as well as other aircraft maintenance operations capable of servicing next-generation aircraft, as well as an aviation education maintenance program (Rock Valley College) that is turning out a highly trained and skilled workforce. With Emery Air already on airport grounds, in 2023, Menzies Aviation, the world’s largest aviation services provider, expanded operations to RFD as well. More than 15 international airlines service RFD as a freighter network serving destinations to and from countries from around the world, as well as from international tier one freight forwarders such as DB Schenker and Maersk-SENATOR International.
Currently, RFD and its tenants are home to more than 8,000 jobs and contribute millions of dollars annually in real estate taxes.