Amazon Air has commenced operations at its new regional air hub located at Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) in Florida, US. The first flight arrived on June 24 from Sacramento International Airport, beginning the first of many daily flights at the facility.
Sarah Rhoads, Vice President of Amazon Global Air said, “We are excited to launch our Amazon Air operations at LAL so we can continue to deliver the fast, free shipping our customers in Florida and across the country depend on during this time.”
The multi-million dollar deal was negotiated in May of 2019 and since then the airport has undergone many runway renovations including upgrading an Instrument Landing System which will aid aircraft operations in bad weather. The airport also added five fuel tanks and improved runway 9-27.
Amazon also built an air cargo facility on the land leased from the airport. Initially, Amazon will lease 47 acres of a 110-acre parcel and has the right to expand with the first five years to an additional 62 acres.
Governor Ron DeSantis said, “I’m pleased to welcome Amazon Air as they begin operations at their new facility at Lakeland Linder International Airport. This new location represents Amazon Air’s largest facility in the Southeast and will drive increased investment and commerce in the region and create hundreds of jobs. “We look forward to collaborating with innovative companies such as Amazon to provide continued opportunities for growth and prosperity in our state.”
The new operation could bring in up to 1,000 jobs, and 75 of those must meet the minimum salary requirement for tax incentives. Amazon may also qualify for state, city, and county tax incentives totaling $225,000 over a four year period.
City of Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz said, “We anticipate this community partnership will benefit central Florida with enhanced technology and growing commerce. The City Commission and I are grateful for the exemplary work performed by our airport team, numerous city departments, and our partners at the FAA and Florida Department of Transportation for making this project a reality.”
According to the plans, Amazon is building a 223,000 square foot building along with two additional facilities as big as 60,000 square feet. The operation will bring in more than $80,000 a month for the airport in the first five years with the opportunity to increase by 7.5% every five years after that.