FORT WAYNE, Ind, (WOWO): The Fort Wayne International Airport can take off with its plans to make much-needed improvements and expand its east terminal with the help of $5 million in newly approved state funding.
According to a press release send out by the Indiana House Republicans, State Reps. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne), Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne), Chris Judy (R-Fort Wayne) and Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) voted in support of the airport funding during the 2023 legislative session, and the State Budget Committee formally approved releasing the funds on Friday along with funding for many other projects across the state.
“Fort Wayne is already recognized as one of the best places to live and our local airport adds to this distinction,” Carbaugh said. “The additional funding approved today will go a long way in improving the airport and ensuring we remain connected to so many destinations right from our backyard.”
According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, the east terminal renovation will alleviate issues like gate capacity, baggage handling inefficiencies, inadequate security checkpoints, circulation space, terminal building encroachment and infrastructure issues. The airport recently broke ground on the terminal renovations in June.
“By addressing these issues, we can improve the features, services and safety of the Fort Wayne airport,” Heine said. “Having an international airport in our area is a tremendous economic asset. From creating jobs to attracting new businesses, this valuable transportation link has positively impacted our area and will continue to be part of its growth for years to come.”
The scope of the new project includes relocating the terminal restaurant to the second level, redesigning the current security checkpoints to meet updated Transportation Security Administration guidelines, replacing 30-year-old baggage claim devices, relocating three aircraft gates, and upgrading electrical, mechanical, security and fire protection systems, and adding accessibility features and a mothers’ room.
“The Fort Wayne airport renovations are something that Allen County legislators have worked hard on getting into the budget for a few years,” Judy said. “From infrastructure updates to security upgrades, we want these improvements to help our airport better serve area residents and visitors alike.”
According to INDOT, construction on the project will start this summer and take around 24 months to complete. The project is made possible through federal, local, state and private funding.
“I look forward to seeing the results of these necessary updates needed to the east terminal and it’s great to know that construction is already underway,” Morris said. “Our goal is to ensure the Fort Wayne airport continues to add value for our residents and operators alike.”
Morris said the airport recently completed its expansion and renovation of the west terminal, which began in 2021.