San Bernardino, Calif., Council to Vote on Air Cargo Hub

Thursday, September 30, 2004
San Bernardino, Calif., council to vote on air cargo hub
The Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino City Council on Oct. 4 will consider approval of an air cargo hub at San Bernardino International Airport that could attract freight carrier DHL. On Sept. 8 the San Bernardino planning commission unanimously recommended approval. Should the City Council follow suit it will remove the last obstacle to the airport’s bid to bring the shipping hub to the former Norton Air Force Base.

It would then be for DHL to decide between March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley, the former base in San Bernardino or Ontario International Airport, if the company chooses a Southern California location.

The cargo hub is expected to bring up to 550 jobs to its host city. Texas-based Hillwood, the firm handling much of the redevelopment at San Bernardino International, wants to build a 368,550-square-foot building cargo hub on 35 acres at the airport.

Last week the March Joint Powers Authority approved a development plan for DHL at the base against the opposition of hundreds of nearby residents. That clears March’s bid for the cargo hub.

Supporters of San Bernardino’s efforts have highlighted the lack of broad community opposition around the former base’s redevelopment project. However, the development plan has drawn concerns from neighboring Highland.

Ernie Wong, public works director for Highland, said the city wants to secure a commitment for road improvements on its streets. DHL’s proposed truck route from the airport to Highway 30 would run along several Highland streets.

Wong said Highland officials have met with San Bernardino to seek a compromise that would bring road dollars to Highland, but no agreement has been reached.