In the wake of the huge announcement on Monday of a planned $40 million, 200,000 square feet jet-repair and maintenance center at the Rockford Airport, we had Airport Executive Director Mike Dunn in the studio this morning to discuss the details.

The hangar will be leased to Wood Dale-based AAR Corp when it opens. It’s expected to employ about 500 people over the next five years, but with the possibility of up to 1,000 jobs being created.

While Dunn was in studio, I mentioned that some people might be skeptical of an announcement like this, having seen other big plans for the Rockford area fall through over the years. But Dunn said this deal was on very solid ground:

My big announcements don't [fall through]. [Laughs] I would say the certainty of this deal is very strong. I believe we'll be under construction in the spring of 2015, which is only six short months away. And we'll be delivering those buildings hopefully in 2015 or early 2016. The jobs in the construction industry are going to be huge and then the permanent jobs in the facility will be terrific.

Here's our full conversation with Mike Dunn, where we also talk about the process of getting this agreement in place, future plans for RFD, and why Riley might be getting a White Sox jersey for Christmas:

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