The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) in the US is to build a new 200,000ft² cargo jet maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility, which is expected to create 500 new jobs.

Illinois governor Pat Quinn said that the state would invest a total of $15m in the construction of the new maintenance facility, which will be built in collaboration with MRO provider ARR. This initiative is a part of the governor’s agenda to create more jobs and raise the economy within the state.

"This is a monumental economic and workforce development opportunity for RFD and the Rockford region."

The funding is being provided through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) from Build Illinois bond funds. An additional $600,000 will be invested by DCEO to train new employees.

RFD executive director Mike Dunn said: "This is a monumental economic and workforce development opportunity for RFD and the Rockford region."

The facility is expected to function 24h a day and will be used to service wide-body aircrafts. This will allow the airport to engage in scheduled and unscheduled service, modification and overhaul and all other support services for military and commercial aircraft.

US Senator Dick Durbin said: "Today’s announcement of a new state-of-the-art facility that will soon employ 500 people in good-paying jobs is only the beginning."

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The facility will be located in the mid-field area of the airport, the construction for which is expected to be completed by mid-2016.