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Amazon Air launches operations at new Florida hub

Amazon Air has built a new cargo complex in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo: Amazon)

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) inaugurated its new regional air hub near Tampa, Florida, with the arrival of the first freighter flight on Thursday.

The 42-acre air terminal is at Lakeland Linder International Airport, a general aviation airport. Amazon operates a large fulfillment center in Lakeland, which is chock full of distribution centers.

Amazon invested more than $100 million in the 285,000-square-foot air cargo complex, which includes ramp space for seven all-cargo planes, city officials stated last year.

Under the 20-year lease, as reported by local newspaper The Ledger, the e-commerce giant will pay the city $80,000 per month, with three 10-year renewal options and the ability to expand on adjoining land. The state and localities provided Amazon with an incentive package to build in Lakeland.

The first flight originated from Sacramento International Airport. Amazon said the package sort facility will receive several cargo flights per day operated by contractors for its in-house airline, Amazon Air.

“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,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement. 

Amazon has been focused on expanding its network of airports the past couple of years to increase delivery speed for its Prime customers, who are promised one- and two-day shipping options. It is scheduled to open a Western air hub in San Bernardino, California, early next year.  Amazon’s primary air hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is also scheduled to be finished next year.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals and a Silver Medal from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government and trade coverage, and news analysis. He was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He won Environmental Journalist of the Year from the Seahorse Freight Association in 2014 and was the group's 2013 Supply Chain Journalist of the Year. In December 2022, Eric was voted runner up for Air Cargo Journalist by the Seahorse Freight Association. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. He has appeared on Marketplace, ABC News and National Public Radio to talk about logistics issues in the news. Eric is based in Vancouver, Washington. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]