FAA conditionally approves RFD 747-8 operations
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted conditional approval to Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) to manage Boeing 747-8 operations. RFD is Chicago’s first airport to receive this distinction.
Scheduled for delivery this summer, the Boeing 747-8 Freighter features greater payload capacity and range. The FAA conditionally approved RFD for 747-8 operations because several 747-8 customers indicated they were planning to bring the aircraft to RFD on a frequent basis. So far, only 13 U.S. airports have received this approval.
Full FAA approval should be achieved once RFD completes certain airport modifications and the aircraft are certified. According to RFD, airport officials are in ongoing talks with international cargo operators searching for a more efficient and economical alternative to big-name Chicago airports, such as Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport.
Ken Ryan, RFD’s director of cargo, believes bringing in 747-8 operations will have strong implications for his airport.
“We have shown in the past that we can land any aircraft operating in the world today, from regular freighters up to the Boeing Dreamlifter and Antonov An-124,” Ryan said in a statement. “Now we look forward to welcoming the 747-8, the next generation of large, efficient cargo freighters. This approval shows that RFD is a top-tier cargo airport ready to serve the world.”
RFD is the 21st busiest cargo airport in the United States.