News Article | 8/26/2004

Shipping Giant Coming To SB

Shipping giant DHL will soon start a package-sorting operation with 50 employees at San Bernardino International Airport, it was announced Wednesday. The worldwide company with more than 170,000 employees has signed a 13-month agreement, which can be extended to 24 months, said John Magness, senior vice president of Hillwood, the master developer for much of the San Bernardino airport. In June, Hillwood signed an agreement with the airport to lease and develop Hangar 695 as an interim-use facility beginning Sept. 1.

At the time, officials had hoped the facility would be used for air-cargo operations. And that might happen. Magness said Wednesday he hopes to convince DHL to be permanently based at SBIA and to fly out of the facility. Until then, DHL will be doing operations similar to mail sorting, with trucks bringing in parcels from various Southland airports and trucks leaving with those parcels after they have been sorted, Magness said. Should DHL commit to air operations at SBIA, it would result in “several hundred jobs,” Magness said. San Bernardino Mayor Judith Valles said the lease with DHL “gets a foot in the door. That’s a good omen.” The previously vacant hangar consists of approximately 49,000 square feet of rentable area. Magness said DHL is moving a sorting operation from San Diego, which had outgrown its location there. DHL is the world’s largest international air express network with service to 120,000 destinations in more than 220 countries and territories. The DHL announcement came at a regularly scheduled meeting at Loma Linda City Hall of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority board. Also on Wednesday, the Inland Valley Development Agency board approved a pact with the San Bernardino Municipal Water Department that was some three years in the making. The agreement integrates water service for properties at the former Norton Air Force Base into the city of San Bernardino water system. “This is a solution for a long standing problem in that the city water department will take over the responsibility for providing water service to all the former Norton Air Force Base. And it will be funded almost entirely by Hillwood,” said Don Rogers, interim executive director of the SBIA and the IVDA. Bernard Kersey, general manager of the water department, said his agency recently approved a contract to begin construction on a $7 million reservoir that will boost pressure in an important section of San Bernardino and serve the needs of SBIA businesses. Of the 12 million gallon reservoir, SBIA will receive 1.2 million gallons, Kersey said in an interview after the meeting. Following an executive session of the IVDA board, Tim Sabo, IVDA attorney, announced that the lease had been terminated with Rockin Robin, a restaurant and nightclub located at SBIA.