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Amazon officially opens new air hub in Kentucky

The facility will process millions of packages every week

Photo (c) Sundry Photography - Getty Images
Amazon has unveiled a new $1.5 billion air hub in northern Kentucky that it says will help customers get their packages delivered significantly faster. The e-commerce giant says the new Amazon Air hub will also give it greater control over its logistics network. 

After more than four years in planning and development, operations at the 600-acre hub officially got underway on Wednesday. The hub was designed to be able to accommodate 100 Amazon-branded planes and handle an estimated 200 flights per day, but Amazon says its main focus right now is handling package volume. 

“Right now, we’re focused on our customers for sure,” Amazon Global Air vice president Sarah Rhoads told CNBC. “We built the hub in Cincinnati to serve our Amazon customers, there’s really no other purpose than that.”

Future plans

The sortation building, which spans 800,000 square feet, will use robotic arms to move and sort packages and mobile drive units to move packages within the building. The company said more than 2,000 people will eventually be employed there, and millions of packages will be processed each week. 

"Across the coming years, Amazon Air will help attract more manufacturers, service providers, and tech companies to Kentucky seeking to take similar advantage of our key geographic location,'' Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement. "Congratulations and thanks to Amazon for this monumental investment in our state and workforce. We look forward to continuing the commonwealth’s longstanding and successful partnership with Amazon for decades to come.''

Amazon also has air hubs at airports in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida. The company has plans to expand to San Bernardino International Airport in California in 2021.

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