E-commerce behemoth Amazon.com Inc. said Tuesday it is building an air freight facility at Texas' Fort Worth Alliance Airport, and could begin launching daily flights from the site within a year, as the company continues to build out its logistics and transportation capabilities far beyond its roots as an online retailer.
Seattle-based Amazon said in an email that it is tailoring the regional air hub to the large-scale regional needs of Amazon Air, the company's initiative to support its network of two-day parcel delivery in its Amazon Prime service.
A spokesperson for the Fort Worth Alliance Airport said the facility is the centerpiece of the Alliance Global Logistics Hub, which also includes BNSF Railway's Alliance Intermodal Facility, the FedEx Southwest Regional Sort Hub, BNSF and Union Pacific Class I rail lines, and access to several highways and interstates.
Fort Worth Alliance Airport is located at AllianceTexas, a 26,000-acre, mixed-use, master-planned development that was developed through a partnership between the City of Fort Worth, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and real estate developer Hillwood.
The project is Amazon's latest step in flexing its enormous scale to expand its own private air freight service. The company is also building a $1.5 billion hub in that network at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, and conducts additional operations at an air park in Wilmington, Ohio.
Amazon's first branded aircraft, Amazon One, took to the skies in 2016, the company said. Since then, the firm has expanded to operate a fleet of 40 aircraft flying out of more than 20 air gateways across the country.
Features at the new Dallas-Fort Worth area site will include sortation capability and the necessary infrastructure to handle multiple flights daily, the company said.
"We are excited to build a brand new facility from the ground up at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport," Sarah Rhoads, director of Amazon Air, said in a statement. "The new facility is the first of its kind for us and we're thrilled to ensure we have the capacity to continue to delight our customers."