ROCKFORD (AP) — Chicago Rockford International Airport is expanding space for cargo aircraft with the help of nearly half a million dollars in federal money.

The new 30,000-square-yard cargo apron will provide more space for the parking, refueling, loading and unloading of aircraft.

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U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced the nearly $456,000 in funding on Tuesday. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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The project is in its final phase.

Durbin said in a statement that the growth of the economy in northern Illinois depends on the area’s airports.

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