SBD International Airport Establishes Itself as a Major U.S. Player in Air Cargo

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of news articles by SBD News that will span the coming months, exploring the 20-year journey that is AllianceCalifornia traveled by its founding partners to transform the landscape of a community devastated by the closure of Norton Air Force Base – building strategic alliances from the ground up, taking the region towards its future rich in aviation as it responsibly expands on its past.—

SBD International Airport Establishes Itself as a Major U.S. Player in Air Cargo

Progression of a 20-Year Partnership at AllianceCalifornia

 May 28, 2020 – San Bernardino, CA: The recent announcement that Amazon Air selected SBD International Airport for its new Regional Air Hub represents a significant milestone in the Airport’s history. Developing this 100-acre foundation for aviation activity and regional job growth has been more than twenty years in the making. It frames the realization of plans envisioned by the initial 2000 public-private partnership between the Airport, Inland Valley Development Agency, and Hillwood, a Perot company.

Launched as AllianceCalifornia, the long-range view of the partners has now become a project-of-projects and has seen the former Norton Air Force Base and nearby properties transformed into a world-class airport surrounded by prominent U.S. and international companies with a growing need to move what the world needs on UPS, FedEx, and Amazon Air – the three most successful cargo airlines in the nation now based at SBD International Airport.

Growth in industry on and around the Airport moved beyond the 10,000 direct jobs lost due to base closure in the early 1990s and has brought people back to work at SBD International Airport and AllianceCalifornia. By 2019, AllianceCalifornia had created 12,855 permanent jobs generating over $2 billion in economic activity. The impact continues to expand with 1,700 new jobs expected this year at SBD International, sending AllianceCalifornia soaring to another year of record job growth.

John Magness, West Coast Market Leader with Hillwood, noted, “Since 2000 we have been working with SBD International and our regional partners to recognize the potential of this Airport. By all measures, it is one of the most successful base redevelopment projects in the country. Once we reached critical milestones with quality tenants like Stater Bros., Amazon, and Trader Joe’s, we knew the air cargo carriers would eventually land here. SBD International provides vital infrastructure and a link to the rest of the world for our tenants and ultimately for our local communities. AllianceCalifornia and SBD International Airport are a perfect fit and with the addition of the Amazon Air facility, we are now building and preparing for the next 20 years.”

The addition of new tenants on top of SBD’s already significant growth in air cargo has generated sustained gains in corporate, commercial, and international operations. In fact, air cargo at SBD has seen tremendous growth since entering the market in 2016. Year-over-year gains have been exponential ever since, including an 800% increase in 2018, and doubling again in 2019.

“Providing a strategic alternative airport in Southern California has proven to be a success for the Airport, its partners, and the community. For us, AllianceCalifornia has been both elemental and instrumental at every stage,” says Michael Burrows, the Airport’s executive director. “We were challenged to create a new kind of partnership, and it has made us adaptively stronger over time. Along the journey, we’ve created a plan to replicate this success in our future partnerships. The SBD and AllianceCalifornia way is designed to help keep people working.”

About SBD International Airport: Located approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles and within 30 minutes of more than two million people, the former Norton Air Force Base was converted to civilian use in 1992 and later became certified as a commercial airport by the FAA. The Airport offers a full range of services and facilities to support air cargo operations, general aviation, and maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses. SBD is positioning itself to provide domestic and international passenger service.

# # #


Amber Casarez
Marketing Coordinator
San Bernardino International Airport Authority
(909) 382-4100 ext. 132

Categorized In: Press Release
Tagged As: