Cargo study could be good for South Bend International Airport, area economy
The St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission approved funds for an air cargo study at South Bend's International Airport. This could put South Bend on the map internationally.
The county hopes this will attract more business to the area.
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport handles tons of cargo everyday.
Some cargo operators are starting to move away from airports that are primary passengers hubs in favor of smaller airports like South Bend.
Right now there is general and passenger aviation at South Bend's airport.
Bill Schalliol, executive director of economic development, says South Bend is strategically located just like O'Hare. But Chicago's fuel and labor costs for cargo is high.
He says planes sometimes sit on the tarmac at O'Hare for a long time before moving on to their final destination.
South Bend's airport would reduce costs and the amount of time planes are on the ground.
Schalliol says American Airlines starting flights in South Bend was the first step in plans to expand regional, national and international services.
The $375,000 study would be paid for out of the New Carlisle TIF district funds. It could take three to six months to complete.
Final approval for the study will go before the Board of Commissioners in two weeks.