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WILMINGTON, Ohio -- Sept. 6, 1995 -- Airborne Express opened a new $60 million, 9,000-foot runway believed to be the largest privately funded airport runway system in the country.

The new runway is part of a three year, $120 million upgrade of Airborne's Wilmington operation, which includes a new 330,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art third-party warehousing and distribution facility operated by Advanced Logistics Services, Airborne's logistics subsidiary.

Airborne, the nation's third largest air express carrier, built the new runway and an adjacent 9,000-foot taxiway one mile east of the company's existing 10,700-foot runway. The new second runway allows for simultaneous takeoffs and landings, dramatically improving Airborne's ability to handle ever increasing volumes of time-sensitive deliveries.

"We've made a strategic decision to invest in our future with projects that improve productivity and our ability to grow," said Robert Cline, Airborne Express chairman and chief executive officer.

Carl Donaway, president of ABX Air, Airborne's airline subsidiary which operates the Airborne Air Park, said, "As the only air express carrier in the country to own and operate an airport, we can offer our customers unparalleled security and quality control."

More than 80 percent of Airborne's shipments pass through the Wilmington package-sorting facility. The second runway acts as an insurance policy against shutdown while saving time between each landing and departure, said Joe Hete, senior vice president of administration for ABX Air. "It's like suddenly having two airports instead of one."

As part of the $120 million expansion at the air hub and sort center, Airborne's Advanced Logistics subsidiary recently opened a 330,000-square-foot third-party warehousing and distribution facility that will provide inventory management, quick-response warehousing and distribution, hub-based fulfillment programs and a foreign trade zone. Airborne also built a 100,000-square-foot aircraft component overhaul facility and began additions to the company's package-sorting facility.

In addition, work is underway on two buildings, totaling in excess of 300,000 square feet, at nearby Airborne Commerce Park, a warehousing and office complex with more than 1 million square feet for tenants who warehouse their own products and prepare them for shipping through Airborne's airport. Airborne pre-leased 72 percent of the space available in these building prior to beginning construction.


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