DHL closed the door on a painful episode in its U.S. operations this week
when it handed over ownership of the Wilmington Air Park to officials in the
Ohio county that lost thousands of jobs when the company scaled back its
business in the United States.
Ian Clough, CEO of DHL Express in the U.S., formally turned the airport and
its 1,500 acres to the Clinton County, Ohio, Port Authority, which hopes to
use the site to develop new business and attract new jobs.
With the donation, “We are confident that the community here and throughout
southwest Ohio will be poised to prosper and attract new and exciting
development to the Air Park property in the future,” Clough said.
DHL sharply reduced operations at Wilmington at the start of 2009 when the
carrier withdrew from domestic delivery service in the United States and
focused most of its U.S. operations to serving DHL’s large international
The decision eliminated some 8,000 jobs at the relatively small central Ohio
town and prompted protests from workers and politicians who said the company
had abandoned the site after receiving incentives to support its expansion.
The airport still is the base for Air Transport Services Group, a major air
services provider to DHL through its ABX Air subsidiary.