What has helped drive job creation at SBD?
Fueling the redevelopment effort at and around the airport has been a flagship public-private partnership with Hillwood resulting in over 15 million square feet of new commercial development. Called AllianceCalifornia, it recently added a fourth Amazon facility, which rounds out a host of Fortune 50, 100 and 500 companies operating in the Inland Empire. We now have over 4 million square feet of Amazon e-commerce facilities, alone.
UPS started flying cargo at SBD in 2017, and they put us on the map. FedEx followed and added a FedEx ground facility as well. We now have our largest expansion underway -- a 100-acre Amazon Air regional air hub, a $300 million investment that will add up to 26 flights a day. With Amazon Air, we will have the three largest air cargo carriers in the U.S. flying out of SBD.
How does SBD benefit the community?
We're home to fantastic public safety facilities such as the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Aviation Department Headquarters, including search and rescue, medical response and aircraft maintenance teams. We have the U.S.D.A. Forest Service Fire Tanker Base, a critical regional asset, and the San Bernardino Regional Emergency Training Center where we train and certify aircraft firefighters.
As we strive to create new aviation jobs, I cannot say enough about the San Bernardino County Workforce Development team and their support for current and new businesses. We have partnerships with the educational sector which helps expose younger generations to careers in aviation related fields. There are many jobs other than pilot or flight crew member that a high school student isn't necessarily going to think about. We help students cross-train in administration, operations, aircraft rescue, firefighting training, and even security and maintenance so that they see what skill sets they might need and how they can grow professionally.
Bringing career opportunities to the region is a big part of our community responsibility. We have returned nearly 13,000 jobs to the region and we anticipate the Amazon Air Regional Air Hub employing 1,700 people when it becomes operational towards the end of the year. At full operation, it will employ over 3,800 individuals.
How are you supporting COVID impacts?
Our international customs clearance capability provides charter options, particularly to our healthcare community, for transport of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential cargo. When companies are struggling to get product in and out of the LA basin, airports like Ontario and SBD are here to provide support. When capacity gets tight, as it has during COVID-19, you need relief valves to get vital merchandise and equipment to the regions that need it most.
An airport is an economic anchor, in good times and bad, and that's part of our job. Whether it's a medical aid flight, corporate charter, aerial firefighting tanker, or an air cargo operation, that's what we're here to support.
We’re currently assisting Delta Airlines with aircraft storage and maintenance during the pandemic. Our team provides all the fueling, services and hospitality to each of these customers. Whether you're a small plane or a commercial aircraft, our staff will treat you like gold particularly in times like this. Even though they're wearing masks, there are smiling faces behind them.