News Article | 5/26/2004

Poised For Takeoff

Riverside Press Enterprise05/26/04


Hillwood, the Texas company running the revival of the onetime Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, is poised to establish regular cargo service at the airport.That’s positive news. Before it can begin recruiting cargo haulers, though, it needs an OK from the governing airport authority. The authority, which meets today in Loma Linda, should give this takeoff a thumbs-up. The renaissance of what is now San Bernardino International Airport ultimately holds the promise of up to 8,000 new jobs in this region. The jobs are badly needed, and cargo has always been key to base-conversion. The project should be spurred ahead now. The Hillwood blueprint calls for construction of a 240,000-square-foot cargo distribution plant near the airport’s northern boundary. Hillwood seeks temporary and limited control over the 35-acre site so it can craft a deal to bring in as many as 10 cargo flights a day.Hillwood has a reputation in this Inland area for hardball negotiations. But it also has a record of success with AllianceTexas, its sprawling cargo port at Fort Worth. That’s why the authority brought Hillwood aboard – and why the company should have the chance now to show what it can do.