Several years in the making, the AAR facility is down to its final steps before completion.
Chicago Rockford International Airport’s newest maintenance and overhaul repair project is down to its final steps, and ready to open on time, and on budget.
“This is absolutely unbelievable,” said Greg Dellinger, the Director of Talent Acquisition Strategy for AAR. “I’ve worked, and been in many many hangars across the United States and beyond. This is fantastic.”
The tour of the nearly completed AAR facility included a test of its custom fire suppression system, which can fill up the entire facility with 3-5 feet of foam within 45 seconds.
The massive facility stands almost ten stories high, and is about 240 thousand square feet, making it the largest pre-engineered structure of it’s type.
The first and only one of its kind in the U.S.
“So with the fire suppression foam and test, getting ready to go, it’s just another great milestone in the history of the Chicago Rockford International Airport,” said Dellinger.
AAR says it expects to be able to move into the facility within a couple weeks.
This comes despite the state not contributing an expected $15 million towards the project, due to the budget crisis.
So far, the state has only given about 1 million.
“Fortunately, we had five local banks that knew the importance of the community of this project, and were able to step up and provide that bridge loan,” said Jeff Polsean, the Director of Economic Development. “So in the end, it actually became a great community effort, to make sure that these projects were completed.”
It also hopes to keep more local talent in the area by creating at least 500 more jobs.
“It’s just another tool in the toolbox that we’re able to achieve economic development and economic growth in this community, and broaden our tax base, which strengthens our community, and allows it to continue to grow,” said Polsean.
If the next couple of inspections go well, and if the Rockford Fire Department gives the thumbs up for the foam generation system, they expect the facility to be open for business starting August 1st.