ROCKFORD – October 28, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced an $8 million investment to rebuild taxiways and purchase a new emergency vehicle at the Chicago Rockford International Airport. The investment will create nearly 200 jobs and demonstrates the federal, state and local commitment to bringing Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s new residential campus to Rockford.
“Over the last several years we have made a series of investments to upgrade and promote this airport, and today’s announcement will continue to boost our efforts to land Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,” said Governor Quinn. “We’re going to continue making the compelling case for why Embry-Riddle needs to land in Rockford.”
The $8 million investment comes primarily through federal Airport Improvement Program grants. Governor Quinn authorized $295,000 from the six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital program to capture the federal dollars.
The money will be spent rehabilitating two taxiways on the airfield’s northeast quadrant. A new, modern aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle also will be purchased, replacing a 36-year-old truck. Both investments will improve airport safety and create jobs.
The Chicago Rockford International Airport employs 4,000 people and generates $1.1 billion annually for the local economy. The airport is home to one of the largest United Parcel Service sorting facilities in the country.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation recognizes the importance of the state’s airports in our local economies,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “The investment ensures that the Chicago/Rockford International Airport remains vibrant and competitive for years to come.”
The Illinois Department of Transportation is leading the largest construction program in state history through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! Projects from Illinois Jobs Now! are creating an estimated 155,000 short-term and permanent jobs. A component of the program includes a $380 million appropriation to support the state’s airports.