chicago-rockford international airport

Ben Jacobson/CC 2.5

One of the main arguments Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc. has made in favor of its rail project is that it would act as an economic driver for the region.  Company lawyer Mike Blaszak says construction would create a significant number of jobs.

"Those of course, would be temporary," he said, "but the construction period would last at least two years."

Once the railroad is in operation, he envisions a smaller set of permanent positions operating trains, maintaining track, and other daily functions. 

Rockford Area Economic Development Council

Passenger airliners are a mainstay of the aircraft business, and the world's two biggest manufacturers are trying to outdo each other with supermassive craft. 

At more than 70 meters -- 229 feet -- long, Boeing's 747-8 and Airbus's A380 can carry hundreds of passengers at once.  But these behemoths need specialized facilities for loading, unloading and maintenance.  

Only about 15 airports in the United States can service these particularly large airliners, and the associated hangars are owned by airlines.  However, Rockford is about to become an exception. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A massive project at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport is back on track, thanks to a collaboration by five local banks. 

Wikipedia

Two members of Illinois's congressional delegation want the state to release millions of dollars to complete improvements at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.

Senator Dick Durbin and 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, both Democrats, are urging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to allow the state to send the money for the renovation project. They've sent a letter to the governor asking him to release more than $16 million for midfield improvements at the airport south of Rockford.

Doug Connell / Engine Studio

Rockford Airfest is canceled this year, but there are still plenty of opportunities for area fans to experience vintage aircraft up close over the next few weeks. 


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