Crusader Staff Report
The Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) continues to grow and expand. The GYY Authority Board recently took the next step and hired Lee Companies of Gary, Indiana to manage the construction of a new East Corporate Hangar to house corporate and executive aircraft. Lee Companies recently managed construction of the airport’s new general aviation U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility, during which 37 percent of all construction contracts were awarded to companies with an existing presence in the City of Gary and 74 percent of the workers hired reside in Lake or Porter counties.
“Construction of the new East Corporate Hangar is the latest example of the airport’s growth and expansion,” said GYY Authority Chairman Tim Fesko. “Recent investments by the Airport Authority – including construction of a new U.S. Customs and Border Protection Facility and now this new hangar – further solidify the airport’s position as the preferred business and executive airport in the region.”
Construction of the new East Corporate Hangar is expected to be completed by early-2019.
During its recent monthly board meeting, the Airport Authority approved a facility fees schedule for the CBP facility and announced the final costs for construction of the airport’s new CBP facility were more than $32,000 (over 3%) under budget. The facility is expected to be open and operational in the next few weeks.
“The Customs facility is GYY’s latest service enhancement for our users and tenants. We are excited to soon open the facility and are thrilled it was constructed on time, under budget and by local companies and labor,” said GYY Executive Director Duane Hayden.
The Airport Authority also approved the appointment of Curt Ulmen as the new AvPORTS Airport Manager assigned to the airport. Ulmen has almost three decades of aviation operational and maintenance experience with the United States Navy, as well as managerial work in maintenance production and manufacturing with aerospace engineer manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. During his 25+ years in the Navy, Ulmen maintained aircrafts and aircraft services, implemented aviation safety provisions, lead large teams that assembled and repaired aircrafts systems, performed quality assurance on all maintenance repairs and directed training programs for Naval aviation personnel. In his role as AvPORTS Airport Manager, Ulmen will partner with Executive Director Hayden and current staff to manage airport operations.
“We welcome Curt to Gary/Chicago International Airport and look forward to tapping into his expertise and experience to continue moving the airport forward,” added Chairman Fesko.
The Airport Authority Board also approved:
- A lease extension with the Indiana Army National Guard;
- An extension to the Intra-Local Agreement through the end of 2019 between the airport and the City of Gary for Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Services; and
- An annual agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Service for wildlife management on airport property.
The next GYY Authority Board meeting is scheduled for October 2,