Lots of New Investments are Happening at Hoosier Airports

Lots of New Investments are Happening at Hoosier Airports

Investment is soaring high in the Hoosier state this year, as multiple airports across the state are taking on major projects to enhance their facilities or expand their operations. There’s been a wide range of activities happening lately, so we’ve gathered a rundown of several notable highlights to keep you up to date on all the latest developments.


Federal Funds Support Three Hoosier Airports ($28.52M Combined)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded $970 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Investing in America agenda to 114 airports across the country, three of which are in Indiana. All kinds of major investments were supported by this award, most of which were primarily geared toward modernizing outdated infrastructure and enhancing the overall passenger experience.

The three airports in Indiana received a combined amount of $28.52 million. The recipients and their specific plans are as follows:

  • Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) – $21.8M – The existing terminal building at FWA is over 30 years old with inefficient HVAC units and insulation. Additionally, the existing terminal building does not provide adequate space for passenger waiting and boarding areas. Improvements to the terminal will modernize the facility with energy efficient HVAC units, insulation, lighting, and improved access for passengers including for individuals with disabilities. The expansion project will also improve safety and operations by increasing taxiway separation to the terminal.

    FWA is also currently undertaking a separate $70 million expansion and renovation project of its East Terminal, which began last year and is due to be complete in 2025. The project also includes relocating all airline gates and passenger boarding bridges to the second level, expansion of the TSA security checkpoint area, relocating the airport restaurant, and creating a new frequent flyer lounge. Work will also be done to update the existing baggage claim and rental car areas. Clayco, a design-build and construction firm, was awarded the East Terminal Expansion project. Mead & Hunt is serving as the design and architecture firm on the project.

  • Huntingburg Regional Airport (HNB) – $3.3M – This award provides funding for construction of a new General Aviation Terminal Building at HNB to replace a 60-year-old block structure. This airport originally began as a privately owned grass-dirt airstrip and has evolved over the decades into a full-service general aviation facility that accommodates tens of thousands of takeoffs and landings each year.
  • Evansville Regional Airport (EVV) – $3.42M – At the Evansville Regional Airport, the federal funds will be used to make improvements to the existing terminal facility, including replacing outdated HVAC equipment, lighting, and passenger access systems. The existing systems are past their useful life and require frequent maintenance. The new HVAC, lighting, and passenger access systems will be energy efficient and will improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

It’s also worth noting that Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), which serves thousands of Hoosiers each year, also received $40 million from the FAA’s funding package. These funds will be used to widen Terminal 3’s central passenger corridor width, reconfigure TSA checkpoints, install a new hold room, add a new a new ADA-compliant and family restroom, and make updates to the baggage system.


Gary/Chicago Airport Acquires Griffith-Merrillville Airport ($1.8M)

The Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) has invested $1.8 million to acquire the Griffith-Merrillville Airport. The Griffith-Merrillville Airport features a 38,000-square-foot terminal building and 4,900-foot runways that are intended for smaller aircraft. Officials with GYY said the acquisition opens up the opportunity for further enhancements at the Griffith-Merrillville Airport in the future.


Runway Extension Completed at Indianapolis Executive Airport ($15M)

The Indianapolis Executive Airport (TYQ) unveiled its newly completed runway at a grand opening ceremony following a five-year, phased extension project. The new runway, extended from its original 5,500 feet to 7,000 feet, was designed to provide an increased margin of safety for aircraft.

Construction was completed in multiple phases to allow the airport to remain operable for a majority of the project. Illinois-based Woolpert led design for the $15 million project and provided construction management, planning, and material testing services. Most of the project’s funding came primarily from federal grants.


Indy Airport Undergoing Energy Transition ($22.58M)

Last year, the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) secured $22.58 million from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program to construct energy efficient infrastructure and install new solar panels. This funding will cover the first 25% of a multi-phased program to transition the terminal’s electricity consumption to renewable energy generated onsite, including back-up battery storage for nighttime hours and times of disruptions or outages. In addition to this energy efficient infrastructure, solar panels will be installed on a new metal canopy within the surface parking lot areas near the terminal.

The Indy airport is already home to one of the largest solar farms on any airport property in the world. It spans 183 acres on airport property with 87,478 solar panels, enough energy to power 3,675 average American homes per year.


Taking Flight

All of this is great news for a state that likes to keep commerce flowing. The more we can improve our aviation infrastructure, the more business opportunities will be landing in Indiana in the coming years. As more investments like these emerge and take flight across Indiana airports, we’ll be providing you with all the latest details in both future issues and here on BuildingIndiana.com.

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