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Gary / Chicago International Airport Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony on Newest Hangar

Gary / Chicago International Airport

$12 million Hangar is Latest Investment to Economic Engine Fueling Northwest Indiana

The Gary/Chicago International Airport (GCIA) formally broke ground on a new $12 million, 47,000 square foot aviation hangar, which represents the newest addition to its growing list of aviation offerings. This new hangar will house Wingtip Aviation upon its anticipated May 2025 opening, which signed a 20-year lease with the GCIA Authority and will consolidate its operations at the airport. The hangar, which will be constructed and operated by GCIA, is being supported with $1.3 million in funding through Governor Eric Holcomb’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant program.

“GCIA has seen extensive growth and investment over the years, and this new hangar is further evidence of the airport’s incredible promise as an economic engine for the City of Gary and our region,” said City of Gary Mayor Eddie Melton. “Investments such as this new hangar create jobs and critical economic investment to the region, helping provide a strong foundation for future economic development.”

The ceremony featured remarks by City of Gary Mayor Eddie Melton, Gary Common Council President Tai Adkins, Congressman Frank Mrvan (D-1st), GCIA Authority Secretary Millicent Macon, Randy Palmateer of the Northwest Indiana Construction and Building Trades Council, Mark Wasky of the IEDC and Jeromy Montesano of Wingtip Aviation. In their speeches, they touched on GCIA’s economic importance within Northwest Indiana region and how GCIA has become an increasingly important driver of regional investment and job creation.

“It is exciting to see new projects such as this hangar break ground, and we welcome the airport’s newest tenant to the Gary/Chicago International Airport,” said City of Gary Common Council President Tai Adkins. “Investments such as this help to promote the type of long-term investment that attracts further capital while supporting jobs and economic development in our area.”

“Thank you to Mayor Melton and all the leaders from the City of Gary, the Gary/Chicago International Airport, the state of Indiana, and members of organized labor for your dedicated work and collaboration to drive continued economic growth in Northwest Indiana,” 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 vibrant people and good-paying job opportunities to the City of Gary and our region.”

“We are excited to welcome Wingtip Aviation to the Gary/Chicago International Airport and are proud to see they have consolidated their operations in Gary,” said GCIA Authority Secretary Millicent Macon. “This investment in GCIA’s available hangar-space will provide the airport and Wingtip Aviation the opportunity to grow and further expand upon our air service offerings.”

This hangar is the latest in a series of substantial investments GCIA has made over the prior decade, starting with the expansion of the airport’s main runway in 2015. GCIA’s runway now extends nearly 9,000 square-feet – the second longest runway in the region after O’Hare International Airport. This expansion has allowed the airport to service larger, heavier aircraft. GCIA opened its U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility addition in 2018, allowing air travelers from any international destination to frequent the airport without needing to clear customs elsewhere.

“As a state, Indiana is committed to building vibrant communities that attract and retain talent and allow Hoosiers to prosper,” said Mark Wasky, senior vice president for community affairs and special counsel to the Secretary of Commerce at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). “Through READI, and in partnership with regions like northwest Indiana, we are making unprecedented investments in quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunity. Increased connectivity is a cornerstone of today’s in-demand destinations, and this expansion at the Gary/Chicago International Airport will be a key contributor to improving economic growth and community development across the region for years to come.”

Launched by Gov. Holcomb and led by the IEDC, READI, including its recent expansion through READI 2.0 and support from the Lilly Endowment Inc., is allocating $1.25 billion to regions across the state to accelerate shovel-ready projects and programs that are expected to transform Indiana communities, attract talent and improve quality of life for Hoosiers in the short and long term. The northwest Indiana Region, led by the Northwest Indiana Forum, was awarded $95 million in READI and READI 2.0 funds to advance its strategies, grow its population base, improve quality of place and quality of life, increase and diversify the region’s quality of opportunity, and spur innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Investments such as this not only help create a new economic foundation for the region, but they also provide critical support for working families throughout Northwest Indiana,” said Randy Palmateer, Business Manager of the Northwestern Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council. “We are very pleased to partner with the Gary / Chicago International Airport in the construction of this new hangar, bolstering our local skilled trades work force while supporting an important economic engine for the region.”

“Wingtip Aviation is thrilled to be taking off on our next adventure with GCIA, as we look forward to expanding operations here in a few, short months,” said Jeromy Montesano, owner of Wingtip Aviation. “The combination of our full-service aviation management portfolio and the recently lengthened runway will increase the attraction for larger aircraft and enable future growth.”

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