FedEx hub coming to Bloomington airport

By WEEK Producer

May 9, 2014 Updated May 9, 2014 at 10:40 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Bloomington's gain may be Peoria's loss. FedEx could soon be coming to the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

Airport officials have announced a $5 million investment in a FedEx express facility.

They say FedEx plans to operate a distribution hub on airport grounds that will include cargo and truck service.

The Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority approved the plan on Thursday.

In a statement to News 25, FedEx says it is not expanding to Bloomington but instead relocating its airport operations from Peoria to Bloomington.

The company says the move would allow FedEx to improve service to its customers in central Illinois by providing earlier delivery times and later pickup times. Fed-Ex officials say the Bloomington location will allow the company to serve at least 100 more zip codes.

"CIRA has been without scheduled air cargo service since 2008, when DHL stopped flying domestically in the United States. This has long been an initiative of ours to return that service to the facility, and again to help grow the community with new investment," said CIRA Executive Producer Carl Olson.

According to a statement from Peoria International, FedEx represents less than half of its air cargo, with an average of two to three flights per day.

Director of airports in Peoria, Gene Olson, says FedEx has not given a time frame for the move, but he hopes its departure will only be temporary.

"We want to preserve our relationship with them and eventually get them back.," Olson said. "We run a really good airport operation here, it's a great place to do business, and so I think when economic things change for them, then perhaps we'll get a chance to get them back.

The Peoria Airport Authority Staff is now working to find a replacement service and business to take over the FedEx space when the carrier company ships out.

No timeline has been set for the relocation of the FedEx hub from Peoria to Bloomington.