Amazon To Open 'Gateway' At Wilmington Air Park
Amazon has announced it will open a new air gateway at Wilmington Air Park in Wilmington, Ohio. The announcement comes as the company continues to build out its air hub operation at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
"We are excited to bring our Amazon Air operation to KILN while we continue building out our central air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport," Sarah Rhoads, director of Amazon Air, said in a news release. "We are opening an operation in Wilmington to ensure we have the capacity to continue to delight our customers."
The new operation will include daily flights and an onsite facility to sort packages bound for their next destination.
"Wilmington and Clinton County know air cargo logistics and have experience to support these operations," said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition. "The revitalization of this strategic Ohio asset will compliment Amazon's existing operations and leverage a talented, skilled workforce ready to move their products anywhere in the world."
It's unclear how many jobs will be created. Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority Dan Evers says, "We do not have a precise job figure. We think it will be consequential and impactful."
Amazon Air currently operates out of more than 20 airports across the United States, with Wilmington opening next year.
Wilmington Air Park Welcomes Amazon as New Tenant
The landscape at Wilmington Air Park (ILN) in south-central Ohio has been changing steadily for the last few years, and the various airfield and landside improvements are beginning to pay big dividends. On June 26, e-commerce giant Amazon opened a new package sorting facility at the 1,900-acre aviation and logistics business park.
As part of its air gateway system, Amazon leases space at multiple airports for sorting and forwarding packages flown by “wet-leased” aircraft. This allows the huge web retailer to control all aspects of fulfillment and delivery without having to rely on third parties such as UPS and FedEx. Its five-year lease at ILN was a major win for the Clinton County Port Authority, which owns the air park and contracts LGSTX Services to manage the airfield and facilities.
With the addition of Amazon’s eight daily flights, ILN now averages 14 flights a day. The associated economic benefits are especially welcome, as the community suffered significant losses when DHL, which previously owned the air park, ended operations there about one decade ago.
Project: Airfield & Facility Upgrades
Objective: Prepare for Amazon’s air gateway & package sorting operations
Location: Wilmington (OH) Air Park
Owner: Clinton County Port Authority
Airfield & Facilities Management: LGSTX Services
Airfield Engineering Consultant: Michael Baker Int’l
Investment: More than $4 million over the last 3 yrs.
Funding: Port Authority; OH Transportation Dept. grants; State of Ohio Capital Budget grants
Airfield Improvements: Crack & joint repair on runway & associated pavement; selective concrete slab replacement; new runway visual range system; 2 new windsocks; incandescent lighting & signage is gradually being replaced with LED fixtures
Other Improvements: 2 airport buildings removed to make room for 800 additional parking slots for Amazon employees; new space also helps facilitate vehicle movement & product flow in/out of the sorting facility
“When the Port Authority took ownership of the air park from DHL in 2010, we began marketing it aggressively,” reflects Dan Evers, executive director of the Clinton County Port Authority. “Our goal was to diversify the air park’s economic and employment base.”
By all measures, the Port Authority has achieved remarkable success. The air park had four companies with 700 to 750 employees working throughout its facilities when the Port Authority acquired the air park. Today, it boasts 13 companies that will employ more than 2,000 workers by year-end.
As the newest and one of the largest tenants, Amazon is the icing on a cake that ILN has been baking for nearly a decade. Other key tenants at the air park include ATSG, Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, Airborne Global Solutions, Air Transport International, ABX Air, Global Flight Source, LGSTX Services, Santa Rosa Systems, Robert A. Schuerger Co. LPA and JMCC.
Nearly all of the airpark’s 2.7 million square feet of industrial, office and hangar is currently leased.
Maintain It & They Will Come
ILN has two runways, one of which is currently not in service. Its primary 10,701-foot Category III runway is capable of handling Boeing 747-class aircraft.
“For now, our 9,000-foot runway will remain closed,” says Evers. “However, we have maintained it at a level that would allow us to reopen it quickly with some additional reinvestment. Our primary runway is sufficient for the air traffic we have today.”
Over the past three years, the Port Authority has invested more than $4 million in aviation-related infrastructure. Improvements include the installation of a new 20-antenna array instrument landing system, enabling the air park to secure FAA Category III ILS certification. “Fortunately, we have good partners in Ohio’s Department of Transportation, Office of Aviation, and have secured critical grant dollars from the state of Ohio, through both ODOT’s Office of Aviation and the state’s capital budget,” says Evers.
The Port Authority recently hired Michael Baker International as engineering consultant for airfield work. Major components included:
- 5,820 linear feet of crack sealing;
- 455 square feet of spall repairs on Runway 4L-22R, Taxiway A1 and Ramp A;
- 292,917 linear feet of concrete joint resealing on Runway 4L-22R, Taxiway A1 and Ramp A;
- removing and replacing 25-foot-square concrete slabs: six on Runway 4L-22R, three on Taxiway A, five on Taxiway C, four on Taxiway A1 and 20 on Ramp A;
- installing a runway visual range (RVR) system;
- replacing and relocating two wind cones, one on each end of the runway;
- gradually replacing current airfield lighting and signage with LED fixtures.
To get the work done, ILN used a series of soft runway closures from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and one full closure for five days in early June. “The tight deadline for getting the airfield work done was a major challenge,” emphasizes Lance Wanamaker, associate vice president with Michael Baker International. “And the rainy weather didn’t help.”
In addition to making airfield repairs and improvements, crews demolished two airport buildings to add a new truck court and accommodate 800 additional parking slots for Amazon employees. The new space also helps facilitate vehicle movement and product flow in and out of Amazon’s two-story sorting facility, which was formerly used by DHL.
Amazon has invested significantly in renovations to the package-sorting facility, upgrading the building’s docks, making structural modifications to parts of the building and completing significant interior improvements. All told, the company is retrofitting and re-equipping 1.2 million square feet—more than 30% of the entire air park’s total square footage of building space.
Future Looks Bright
Ohio ranks among the top four states in the U.S. for logistics and is ideally situated within a strategic infrastructure network. It boasts the seventh largest highway system in the country and is within 600 miles of 61% of all U.S. and Canadian manufacturing locations.
Located in the heart of Ohio’s aerospace and logistics region, ILN offers easy access to Interstate highways and the metropolitan areas of Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus. It is within 50 to 70 miles of three airports with international passenger service and within a day’s drive of 60% of the U.S. population. The air park also lies within a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 101), affording another benefit to clients handling international freight shipments.
Not surprisingly, Evers believes the future is bright for ILN and the surrounding community. “To prepare for Amazon, we’ve had to beef up personnel,” he notes. “From air traffic controllers, field and maintenance staff, even our ARFF staff, we’ve had to gear up to become a 24/7 airport again.”
After DHL left, the Clinton County community resolved to “never let our guard down,” he explains. “We were and are fortunate to have ATSG and its affiliated companies as foundational tenants and vendors. That has been a significant factor in our ability to prepare for aviation-related opportunities.”
The structure of the Port Authority-owned, privately managed airport is unique. Although ILN is a fully certified Part 139 airport and handles both corporate and private air traffic, it does not offer scheduled passenger service. As the largest non-NPIAS (National Plan for Integrated Airport Systems) airfield in the U.S., it does not receive any funds from the FAA. “We are a Part 139 airport, so we do meet all the FAA protocol requirements for operations and systems; but we are 100% self-funded,” notes Evers.
Jeremy Heard, director of airports and facilities for LGSTX Services, proudly notes that the Port Authority has maintained a viable airport suitable for any airline in the world, with a staff of just 25 people. “After DHL departed, it would have been very easy for Clinton County to turn off the lights at the airport,” Heard observes. “But they didn’t, and we made sure that the Port Authority had a facility ready, operable and attractive from a marketing standpoint. The big new tenant, Amazon, took us up on that.”
The challenges have been significant. “It took a lot of work to undertake all the planning and execute all the improvements required for expanded operations in just over a year,” Evers reflects. “We essentially added an entire third shift of operations while ensuring all systems remained rigorous and robust to support existing tenants and air traffic operations. But everyone took up their yoke and plowed their acre.”
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Amazon.com Employee Reviews in Wilmington, OH
If you have another option take it.
Associate (Current Employee) - Wilmington, OH - October 1, 2020
Working in this place is terrible. Management treats you like complete dirt unless your good on your knees. Getting a promotion is worse than staying at base level, you lose privileges, get forced to working more hours, I believe 10-12 hour days, get payed the same, and are still treated like complete trash. If you confront management on anything you can get in trouble if it's the wrong manager. I once called out a manager for breaking several rules at once, two of them covid rules and the others all rules she tyrannically enforces. She didn't like being called out and wrote me up, she then proceeded to write up my friend for associating with me and tried to write up my brother who wasn't even in the building. She later refused to give me paperwork to rebute the write up, which is not allowed, I believe she told hr that she gave it to me because even though I didn't get the paperwork it's still on my record. Most of the building has problems with this girl, including the other managers. My old manager and several other members of leadership are leaving because they don't like her. I'd almost say I'm lucky having been forced to go to another area of the building. She's convinced she can run the building herself so people confronted her on it and she just huffed and walked away like a child who acts like they're good at something they've never done. The managers above her like her which can only mean that she's got soft knee pads. Everyone I know is desperately looking for a new job to get away from her and the rest of the terrible management.
Air kiln amazon
Wilmington Air Park
Airport in Wilmington, Ohio
Wilmington Air Park (IATA: ILN, ICAO: KILN, FAALID: ILN) is a public-use airport located two nautical miles (3.7 km) southeast of the central business district of Wilmington, a city in Clinton County, Ohio, United States. While DHL had privately owned the property while operating from the facility, the company agreed to donate the airfield to the Clinton County Port Authority.
The airport was formerly known as Clinton County Air Force Base.
The airport opened in 1929 and a small hangar was built in 1930. The landing strip was approved by the Civil Works Administration in 1933. In 1940, the Civil Aeronautics Authority took control of Wilmington Airport for use as an emergency landing field. In 1942, the United States Army Air Forces took over the airport, renaming it Clinton County Army Air Field. With the establishment of an independent U.S. Air Force in 1947, the installation was renamed Clinton County Air Force Base and primarily supported Air Force Reserve flight operations and training under the 302d Troop Carrier Wing (1952-67), which then became the 302d Tactical Airlift Wing and briefly the 302d Special Operations Wing (1967-71).
The base was decommissioned as an Air Force installation in 1972 and the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) began developing the area as the Wilmington Industrial Air Park (WIAP). It also became home to the Great Oaks Joint Vocation School. In 1977, the Southern State Community College opened, using old barracks buildings as classrooms. In 1980, Midwest Air Charter was acquired by Airborne Freight Corporation, resulting in Airborne Express, which became the largest tenant at WIAP.
In 2003, as part of the merger of DHL and Airborne, DHL kept Airborne's ground operations and spun off its air operations as ABX Air. The facility was a major sorting center for package delivery service DHL Express between 2005 and the sorting center's closing in July 2009, following then Deutsche Post-owned DHL's cessation of US domestic delivery services.
Facilities and aircraft
The Wilmington Air Park covers an area of 2,000 acres (810 ha) at an elevation of 1,077 feet (328 m) above mean sea level. It has two concrete surfaced runways: 4L/22R is 10,701 by 150 feet (3,262 x 46 m) and 4R/22L is 9,000 by 150 feet (2,743 x 46 m).
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 71,000 aircraft operations, an average of 194 per day: 96% scheduled commercial and 4% general aviation.
Future of the Property
On January 19, 2010, DHL agreed to turn over the airport, including its two runways, control tower, buildings and cargo storage facilities to the Clinton County Port Authority. The donation became effective on Jun 2, 2010. While no concrete plans were set, the port authority plans to work with local and state officials on redeveloping the property.
A comprehensive Redevelopment Study for the Wilmington Air Park was completed in December 2011.
In January 2012, the Clinton County Port Authority was in conversations with the Ohio Air National Guard for the possible return of a U.S. Air Force presence at the airport, with possible use as a joint civil-military airfield by the Air National Guard to operate model specific Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
Project Aerosmith and Amazon Air
After years of dormancy, cargo activity resumed during second half of 2015. Operated under the code name Project Aerosmith, Wilmington-based Air Transport Services Group was performing a trial run for a potential Amazon.com air cargo operation. In December 2015, Amazon announced that frustration with third-party carriers had led to them investigating their own cargo operation to be flown potentially by ATSG, Atlas Air, or Kalitta Air. As part of a trial, five ATSG Boeing 767s were being operated from Wilmington to airports near Amazon distribution centers, with 219 flights operated between November 1 and December 17, 2015, in contrast to seven in the previous period the year before.
In March 2016, Amazon announced leases for 20 767s with its Wilmington operations to supported by ATSG and its subsidiaries including Air Transport International, which served as Amazon's primary carrier. In this announcement, Amazon received options to purchase up to 19.9 percent of ATSG stock, exercisable over a five-year period.
In January 2017 Amazon announced it would shift flight operations to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) alongside a major expansion of service. The move was finalized on April 30, 2017, when the last Amazon flight departed. Despite the shift to CVG appearing to be the end of Amazon service at ILN, it was announced in November 2018 that ILN would again open for Amazon so that capacity demands could be met during construction of the company's sort facility at CVG, with operations resuming in June 2019.
Airlines and destinations
|Amazon Air||Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago O'Hare, Chicago-Rockford, Denver, Fort Worth, Hartford, Houston-Intercontinental, Lakeland, New York-JFK, Ontario, Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Portland/OR, Sacramento, San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle/Tacoma,Los Angeles International Airport|
This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
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