Chesterton Tribune


Gary airport expansion gets $30 million boost

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GARY, Ind. (AP) — The Gary-Chicago International Airport is getting a $30 million boost toward a project to lengthen its main runway so that it can handle larger planes.

The Gary airport board voted Wednesday to approve a grant agreement with the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority. Officials said that grant had been on hold while the development authority reviewed the financing for the $160 million project, The Times of Munster and the Post-Tribune of Merrillville reported.

“You expect $30 million from the RDA, and you will get $30 million from the RDA,” airport attorney Patrick Lyp told airport board members.

The airport expansion plan calls for extending the 7,000-foot runway to 8,900 feet to comply with federal safety regulations and so that it can handle larger commercial aircraft. Work to move some nearby railroad lines and prepare for the runway lengthening has been ongoing, a project that is expected to be complete by late 2013.

As soon as the RDA agreement is approved by the state attorney general’s office, the airport will begin drawing on the grant to pay bills already incurred, according to airport finance manager Carolyn Keith.

The development authority’s board first approved the $30 million grant more than 18 months ago, but it was held up while the agency did its financial review and a joint RDA/airport task force worked on other details.


Posted 12/21/2012