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Latest News

RFD Sets Organizational Record with 2020 Cargo Numbers; Grows 15% Year-Over-Year

Passenger service continues to gain back traction, bucks the industry trend

ROCKFORD, Ill. (February 12, 2021) – The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) announced it ended 2020 with the largest year-to-date landed cargo weight in the organization’s history. The airport also shared that its passenger numbers are increasing back to pre-COVID timeframes and beating the national industry trends.

Cargo Growth Surges
In 2020, cargo numbers grew by more than 15% to 2.7 billion pounds of freight that has landed and traveled through RFD compared to 2.3 billion pounds in 2019. The leading driver of the cargo growth was ecommerce purchases. Cargo growth has continued at a high pace since the 2019 holiday season due to the pandemic in which a rise of purchases online continued throughout the year. That, combined with the cargo flights carrying essential products and PPE to the region, increased the number of cargo flights and new international cargo operations.

In 2019, cargo numbers grew almost 11% over 2018 with more than 2.3 billion pounds of cargo traveling through the airport. In comparison, 2018 cargo numbers were at 2.1 billion pounds and 2017 marked 1.4 billion pounds of landed weight at RFD.

RFD is home to the second largest UPS hub in North America, which continues to increase its daily cargo flights. The airport also serves other leaders in the air cargo industry, including ABX Air, ATI, Senator International, DB Schenker, National Airlines, and Atlas Air. With the airport’s recent cargo expansions, Rockford is quickly becoming a Midwest hub for e-commerce and international freight.

“We’re proud to be a catalyst for access and ease of transporting goods for our region,” said Mike Dunn, Executive Director, RFD. “The ongoing infrastructure improvements and new development on our property will help us to continue to realize enhanced job growth and business opportunities as well.”

Passenger Service Gains Traction
After a year which saw reduced flights due to COVID-19 restrictions, RFD is seeing passenger travel increase again. Overall, passenger enplanements ended the year down 32%, with 4th quarter being down only 18%. Nationally, passenger airline industry as a whole is still down 50-60% while RFD continues to close the gap.