Amazon Air Hub in San Bernardino: Federal Appeals Court Rejects the Lawsuit Against

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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Dec 3, 2021

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Federal Aviation Administration approved a new 660,000-square-foot sorting facility in 2019 at San Bernardino International Airport that was to be run by Amazon. It currently serves as the Southern California headquarters for the e-commerce giant’s freight network. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on a 2-1 vote, rejected a lawsuit against the decision of FAA to approve this facility, which gave a breather to Amazon.

San Bernardino Air Hub by Amazon was hailed by county officials as a major investment that boosted job opportunities in the area. The Air Hub is a 100-acre pience of land, a $300 million investment that added up to 26 flights a day.

Amazon Air Launches New Hub In Southern California
PC: Leon Bennet
Amazon Air Hub San Bernardino

Former State Attorney General and Environmental Justice Groups

The federal lawsuit under discuss.ion was filed by former State Attorney General Xavier Becerra and local environmental justice groups. It was alleged that all parties, including the Federal Aviation Authority as well as master developer Hillwood Enterprises ignored the health and environmental risks that this Air hub posed to the local community.

Per Redlands Daily’s report, “the suit asked the federal appeals court to set aside the FAA’s approval “as arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law.”

It seems the presence of industrial warehouses has triggered environmental groups to object to this air hub.

“The heart of this legal fight,” Martinez added, “is about the health of San Bernardino residents, who have been living in the shadow of mega-warehouses that go up in a matter of months and pump incredible amounts of diesel particulate matter into neighborhoods.

Excerpt from Redlands Daily

A $200M Air Hub in San Bernardino

It was in September this year that Start empire reported about Amazon’s Air Hub which, according to estimates, is a $200M project.

At that time as well, we wrote about the environment related concerns being raised against the project:

“Since Amazon was involved in guiding the construction of this site. The company states that “the facility will operate a fleet of electric ground service equipment, and a solar panel rooftop is slated for installation later this year“. However, there are law-suits as well that allege Amazon’s operations in the area will be harmful due to poorer air quality, climate, and other impact perspectives.”

Excerpt from Startempire Wire’s story Amazon launches a new $200M+ air hub in San Bernardino

Somehow, the Inland Empire is one of the most established logistics and distribution hubs in the country and this has made environmentalists suspicious of every new logistics facility of compounding Inland Empire’s environmental woes.

A combination of freeways and highways, an international airport, rail network, ports, and warehouse space makes San Bernardino a perfect match for logistics startups.

Startempire Wire

In a way, this expansion of the logistics and distribution network in San Bernardino and the greater Inland Empire region is because of its proximity to two major ports, i.e. LA Port and Long Beach Port. Plus, demand is outstripping supply.

CBRE, an industrial and commercial real estate group of businesses, sheds light on this situation. “In fact, in a market of 500 million square feet, just 0.7% of that space is now vacant. We are seeing strong demand for tenant buildings, and the lease rates continue to trend upward. Land sale prices are also trending up for this market.”Eloy Covarrubias | SVP of industrial specialty and land advisory CBRE

Nonetheless, Amazon’s aggressive expansion in the area and proliferation of industrial warehousing in the Inland Empire region will attract more lawsuits and legal challenges in the years to come.


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Author

  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.

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