Plans to Become International Air Cargo Hub are Back on Track

Developers say the project will help establish St. Louis as an international air logistics hub as originally established and first approved in 2015.

St. Louis Air Cargo

Work on the project’s $56 million first phase is expected to begin by March 2019 and will cover 1.1 million square feet of the long-vacant aircraft manufacturing complex, with plans to be finished in 19 months. The biggest change to the original plan is that it will involve rehabbing most of a long-vacant aircraft manufacturing complex, rather than replacing it.  Other operations are expected to start later this year only when the rehab portion is partly complete.  Two other phases will occur later and involve new construction. [St. Louis Dispatch]

Financing for the first phase of the project includes $8.7 million of federal historic tax credits, $11.4 million of state historic tax credits, and state brownfield remediation tax credits.

Let’s Put St. Louis on the Map

Ricardo Nicolopulos, president of Bi-National Gateway Terminal LLC, said “he still is pursuing approval by Mexico to locate at the terminal a “dual-customs’ facility capable of clearing goods moving to and from that country.”

“He said it would permit pre-clearance of cargo bound for Mexico and for U.S. customs inspection of cargo imported from Mexico. He said he expects Mexico to approve the idea sometime after work on the terminal begins.”  The first of its kind, SkyBridge in Arizona is a great example of this unified cargo process.

How it Affects St. Louis and Nearby Locations

About 700 jobs are expected to be created once the first phase is completed in 19 months.  Having a big international air cargo hub located in the heart of America, not only for shipments to and from Mexico, but including all countries globally, will streamline the supply chain process.  Importers and exporters throughout the Midwest will have more options to route their cargo.  I presume the new hub would also alleviate cargo congestion at ORD airport.

Ricardo Nicolopulos, president of Bi-National Gateway Terminal LLC, said:

“The complex, built by Curtiss-Wright Corp. in the early 1940s to produce Navy dive bombers and other military aircraft, was added to the National Register of Historic Places at his urging,” Nicolopulos said.



Read more: St. Louis Post Dispatch