LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The cargo ramp expansion project has officially begun at the Capital Region International Airport.

It is all part of an effort to meet the increasing demands of cargo operations at the Lansing airport.

About 63.5 million pounds of cargo is moved through the Capital Region International Airport every year.

Nicole Noll-Williams, president and CEO of the Capital Region International Airport, said this project has been a ‘labor of love.’

She said this has been in the works since 2006, and the project is set to be completed by the end of this year.

“There’s many pieces that were put in place to get to where we’re at today, such as development projects, extension to runways, and bringing in international facilities,” Noll-Williams said.

Officials said the ramp expansion is a ‘critical investment in our region’s infrastructure’ and the final product will help to support economic growth and job creation for years to come.

Senator Debbie Stabenow said this will strengthen mid-Michigan’s role as a central hub for imports and exports and will be a catalyst for new businesses.

The cargo operations continue to grow, which is why the airport has invested $13.3 million into the project.

This project is supposed to give about 63% more cargo ramp space, which officials said is needed, especially during the first and fourth quarter. 

“If you think about it, it’s about seven football fields of additional space that’s being created and that really does help present opportunities for growth, new businesses to support future growth and transporting cargo in and out of the region,” Noll-Williams said.