Durbin, Bustos: Federal Investment In Rockford Airport Is Creating Jobs And Growing Local Economy

ROCKFORD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) today toured construction of the Chicago Rockford International Airport passenger terminal, which will provide an additional 30,000 square feet for passenger check-in and additional Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) inspection lanes. Since 2015, Sen. Durbin and Rep. Bustos have helped to secure $18.2 million in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the terminal expansion project, including $5.5 million in federal funding announced last month.

“Northern Illinois’ economic growth depends on our airports, and Chicago Rockford International Airport is no exception. Thanks to continued federal investment, the ongoing terminal expansion and upgrades at RFD will create jobs and ensure we can keep up with increased air travel demands,” said Durbin. “However, I remain concerned that the State of Illinois’ refusal to release state funding that has already been committed for the airport may jeopardize its overall success. The federal government has committed to creating economic opportunity in Northern Illinois. It is time for the State of Illinois to do the same.”

“Senator Durbin and I have fought hard to secure these job-creating federal investments in the Chicago Rockford International Airport and we're excited to see so much progress being made here,” said Bustos. “Rockford is open for business because of the hardworking men and women who make this community a great place to live, work and raise a family. We are hopeful that as we continue fighting for RFD, that the State of Illinois will step up and do its part too.”

Since 2015, Sen. Durbin and Rep. Bustos have secured more than $24 million in federal funding for improvements at Rockford Airport, including $5 million recently announced for the construction of a 30,000 square yard cargo apron to provide additional aircraft parking. Cargo volume is up nearly 40 percent since last year and expanding the cargo apron will provide much needed aircraft parking space. 

Sen. Durbin and Rep. Bustos have repeatedly called on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to follow through on the state of Illinois’ commitment to provide $16.3 million for the Chicago Rockford International Airport’s midfield improvement project, which was promised in 2014, but never provided.