It is often said in the airport industry that there is nothing permanent at an airport. Fort Wayne’s airports are no different. The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority must continually anticipate and plan for the needs of the region’s aviation community, as well as the needs of the region’s business community.
This year the Airport Authority has a number of projects that will benefit many of its stakeholders. They range from providing better access to FWA’s west side to improving access to rental cars to supporting the growth of the Indiana Air National Guard to enhancing the flow of aircraft traffic at Smith Field. Here’s a closer look at some of these projects.
FWA’s West Side
The largest project for the year is actually a project that was started last fall – the construction of a new access road to the west side of FWA. With the changes in roads and runways over the years, what remained was a convoluted array of leftover roads that made it difficult to access the businesses located on the airport’s west side. Primco Inc., a Fort Wayne company, is constructing the $3.7-million, federally-funded project. Work on the final road construction is underway and scheduled to be completed in August.
The construction of a new FBO on the west side will begin later this year. The Airport Authority is in the process of selecting design-build firms to work on this project. The design and construction of the facility support the airport’s master plan, which was completed in 2012.
Rental Car Access
The project that will garner the most visibility is the car rental parking lot project. Currently, the car rental parking lot at FWA is oddly shaped and not customer friendly. Also, we want to reduce the length of the walk to and from the terminal to the lot for those users. The solution is to move the lot directly across the terminal road, which will provide easy access to those renting cars at FWA. This is a $2.84-million project, and it is being constructed by Brooks Construction. Construction began in early May and will continue through the summer and be ready before the first snowflakes begin to fall.
Growth of the Indiana Air National Guard
Some may say that it will be a quiet construction year on the FWA airfield and, compared to normal years, things certainly will be quieter. However, the Airport Authority is keeping an eye on the future. That’s why we’re working with the Air National Guard to design and construct a new arm/de-arm pad for the A-10s, but doing so with an eye on the move to the F-16 and for whatever may come after that aircraft.
Flow of Aircraft Traffic at FWA
Even though construction activity on the airfield will be less than normal, we are already working on the design of a reconstruction of the 8,000-foot runway and its associated taxiways.
The future is always difficult to predict. However, it is necessary and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority is proud of its efforts. We will continue to work with all of our interested stakeholders to stay in front of the needs of northeast Indiana flyers.