Spokane Journal of Business

Airport, FedEx negotiate plans for cargo facility

Structure proposed along with new air-cargo apron

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Spokane Airports is negotiating with FedEx Corp., of Memphis, Tenn., to build a 120,000-square-foot, cargo-sorting facility at Spokane International Airport Business Park, says Spokane Airports CEO John Morrison.

The big shipping company wants to consolidate into the structure all of its air- and ground-shipping facilities here Morrison says. FedEx currently occupies a 15,700-square-foot building at the airport and a terminal at 515 N. Havana in East Spokane.

Pam Roberson, a Memphis-based spokeswoman for FedEx, confirms that the company is in negotiations on the project with Spokane Airports but declines to provide details on its plans here.

Todd Woodard, airport spokesman, says the airport doesnt have a signed lease for the project yet, and adds that plans for the new building are still conceptual, but says that if the structure is built, it would be located at the southeast corner of Godfrey and Flightline boulevards, east of the airports runways and inside the SIA business park.

Woodard says FedEx likely would sign a lease for the structure with a third-party developer, which would lease land for the building from Spokane Airports and build the structure. He declines to estimate the cost of the project.

The proposed cargo-handling building would dovetail with airport plans to construct a roughly eight-acre air-cargo apron this year and to widen a taxiway that will lead to the new apron.

The planned apron, which will stretch from the east side of the airports runways to the adjacent business park, will provide space for moving, loading, and unloading aircraft. The apron is needed to handle increasing volumes of air freight at the airport and to encourage additional shipping growth, Woodard says.

Taylor Engineering Inc., of Spokane, designed the apron, which is expected to cost about $5 million to construct. Taxiway improvements, including widening and strengthening taxiway pavement and installing new lighting, would cost an additional $1 million, Woodard says.

About 90 percent of the funding for the new apron and taxiway projects would come from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is reviewing construction plans for the apron and taxiway now, Woodard says. The airport would provide the rest of the money for the project, he says.

Spokane Airports, which includes Spokane International Airport, Spokane International Airport Business Park, and Felts Field, is owned jointly by Spokane County and the city of Spokane.

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