Amazon announced on Tuesday that it will spend 1.5 billion on a massive new air cargo hub in Northern Kentucky. In the short term, the air hub will expand Amazon’s Prime Air capabilities and create jobs, but in the long term it could provide a perfect staging ground for the company’s wacky idea for blimp warehouses.
The 900-acre facility will be the home for Amazon’s fancy new Amazon One planes and is part of a larger movement to build Amazon’s workforce. In the short term, the new center will create 2,000 jobs and drastically expand the company’s air shipping capabilities, but in the long run it could be the start of something even bigger, or even blimpier.
Thanks to a couple of patents filed in 2014, it looks like Amazon has plans to have enormous floating blimp warehouses that release little delivery drones that drift your packages down out of the sky. People would be flown up into the blimp warehouses on shuttles, which also resupply and fuel the floating fulfillment center. Of course, we don’t know when these enormous blimp warehouses might appear, but with all the new infrastructure being built there, the new Kentucky hub is as good a bet as any.
The hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will be the largest Amazon hub in the world, reports the Cincinnati Business Journal. Amazon is leasing the 900-acre parcel from the airport for at least the next 50 years. On the ground, Amazon already plans to have 40 Boeing 767s. A network of 4,000 tractor-trailers will be used to support the hub on the ground.
Amazon also announced that it will be adding more than 100,000 jobs across the United States over the next 18 months. 2,000 of these jobs will be at the hub in Kentucky. The timeline is not set, but the first new plane is expected to arrive in April. We will just have to wait and see if “blimp warehouse operator” shows up on the job listings.