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Gary/Chicago International Airport holds ceremony celebrating infrastructure

Photo caption: ANNOUNCING FEDERAL FUNDS for the airport are (l-r) Joy Holiday, Mayor Jerome Prince’s Chief of Staff; U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-1st) from Indiana and Gary Chicago Airport Executive Director Dan Vicari. (Photo by Ted Brown)

$6 million in Fiscal Year 2023 Community Project Funding Secured by Congressman Frank Mrvan to Further Enhance Air Cargo Infrastructure and Grow Airport’s Air Cargo Service Offerings

On April 5, 2023, the Gary/Chicago International Airport (GCIA) hosted a ceremony to commemorate $6 million in federal funds secured by Congressman Frank J. Mrvan (D-1st) to support air cargo infrastructure enhancements to the airport. These funds, secured as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Community Project Funding, will provide critical infrastructure funding to support the airport’s air cargo service offerings.

The Ceremony, held earlier today, featured guest speakers instrumental to the ongoing growth and investment to the airport. In their speeches, they touched on GCIA’s economic importance within Northwest Indiana region and how GCIA’s air cargo service sector has become an increasingly important driver of the airport’s growth.

“As GCIA continues to grow and mature its offerings, the entire region – including the City of Gary – benefits economically,” said City of Gary Mayor Jerome Prince. “We are grateful to see these critical funds allocated to permit future growth of the airport and look forward to construction beginning later this year.”

GCIA’s air cargo service sector has become an increasingly important driver of the airport, and by extension an economic driver of Northwest Indiana, since global logistics provider UPS began operations in late 2020 and providing it with a crucial competitive advantage in the region.

“The airport is grateful for this funding, as it will bolster infrastructure enhancements to the airport and fuel future aviation sector growth,” said GCIA Authority Vice-Chairman Trent McCain. “The past several years have seen significant investment in the airport and development of our air cargo service offerings, all which have contributed to making GCIA a key economic driver for the Northwest Indiana region.”

The $6 million in funding is divided into two (2) separate elements – the first, $4 million tranche to design, expand and construct a heavy air cargo logistics apron for multiple air cargo services, with the additional $2 million to construct a sanitary sewer line to the expanded air cargo logistics center, permitting deicing and allowing air cargo operations to continue expanding without interruption.

UPS began operations at GCIA in May of 2020, after the airport formally approved a long-term lease and easement agreement. With services officially kicking off in Q4 of that year, GCIA now supports express air shipment operations both domestically and globally, and Next Day Air Service for the region. Air cargo operations have been steadily growing ever since then – GCIA now ranks third in the State of Indiana in the movement of freight, accomplishing this title after only its first year of UPS operations.

While a date for breaking ground on these investments has not been set, the funding has officially been appropriated via the Fiscal Year 2023 Community Project Funding – a program designed to redirect federal funds for local projects.

“Thank you to all the leaders of the Gary/Chicago International Airport and Mayor Prince for their successful utilization of this federal resource to create positive and transformational economic growth,” said Congressman Frank J. Mrvan. “I look forward to continuing to partner with all of you to build on this momentum and further improve the ability of the Gary Airport to be the magnet that attracts more private businesses and economic activity to the City of Gary and our region.”

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