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Local Group Visits FedEx in Texas

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FORT WORTH — RDU International Airport has approved a controversial shipping hub. Now FedEx must decide if the Triangle will be its final destination.

More than 100 city leaders returned Sunday after touring a similar facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

The group had a tour of the Alliance Airport Fed Ex Hub.

Local business owners, along with Wake County Commissioners and Raleigh City Council members, got an up-close look at the Texas facility during prime work hours. The group wanted to see the impact Fed Ex had on Fort Worth, and the potential impact it might have here in the Triangle.

Many people who live near RDU are worried the hub would be a noisy neighbor, especially since FedEx operates its planes when most people are sleeping. The delegation says people in Fort Worth told them noise is not a problem there.

One of the group members, Ken Atkins, said, "It is a great project for this area. Not only the hub itself, but I think even more important are the kinds of companies that have decided to locate there because of the kinds of services FedEx provides."

Even elected officials who aren't totally sold on the idea were impressed with how the city has handled the hub.

They've invested the money they've gotten from growth back into the city.

Cary business woman, Sheila Ogle, sees the FedEx hub as an investment in the Triangle's future. "I just think, if people get the facts, what a tremendous thing this could be for our area."

The ball now is in FedEx's court. Several other cities in the Carolinas are under consideration. RDU should find out by late spring or early summer whether they've landed the deal or not.

About 20 flights a day fly in and out of FedEx's Fort Worth, Texas hub. The hub employs about 600 people. Full-time employees earn an average of 34,000 dollars a year, while part-time employees earn full-time benefits.

At least seven companies have built new facilities or expanded existing ones around Fort Worth since FedEx announced plans for the hub.


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