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Wed, May 22, 2019

Amazon To Build Cargo Facility At Lakeland Linder International Airport

City Commission Gives Unanimous Approval To The Plan Monday

The Lakeland, FL City Commission has given unanimous approval to a plan that will see an Amazon cargo facility built at Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL).

The 20-year deal gives Amazon a 20-year lease on 47.2 acres at the airport, according to a report from the Lakeland Ledger newspaper. The company plans to build a seven-jet cargo hangar and bring between 800 to 1,000 jobs to the region.

Airport director Gene Conrad called the deal "a home run for us." Amazon will pay some $80,000 per month in rent, and 85 cents per 1,000 pounds of cargo landed at the airport. They will also pay a 3-cent per gallon surcharge on fuel purchased at the airport. The deal includes an option to expand on an additional 62 acres of land, with three renewal options that could extend the deal to 50 years.

However, some residents are skeptical about the deal. Resident Julie Fancelli told the paper that the facility could have a major impact on the quality of live in the city, and questioned how the deal will benefit the citizens of Lakeland. But Mayor Bill Mutz said that the benefit will come in the form of "hundreds of millions of dollars" to the city.

Others said they were concerned that they had not had sufficient opportunity to voice their opposition to the plan, but Conrad said it was "kind of the worst, best-kept secret. Negotiations were very sensitive."

Amazon is expected to operate eight to 10 flights per day out of KLAL beginning in July, 2020, but an exact flight schedule has not yet been finalized.

FMI: Source report

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