Construction on a planned expansion of the terminal at Fort Wayne International Airport worth at least $35 million could begin in 2021, officials said today.
Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, said an increase in passenger traffic and a need for more space to park planes at gates make the project necessary. Work to design the renovated facility likely will begin in December, and construction could start in early 2021, he said.
"We grow because the community's growing," Hinderman said before leading reporters on a tour of the terminal and other airport properties. "Fort Wayne has a lot of positive momentum. There's a lot of good things happening in town, and we want to make sure we're a part of that."
Preliminary plans call for an expansion that would grow the terminal from about 100,000 square feet to about 147,000 square feet. It will feature better circulation around ticketing areas and new machines that will be used to screen checked luggage.
A planned new gate would alleviate cramped space for planes loading and unloading passengers. The airport now has eight gates, but Operations Director Joe Marana said an increase in the size of passenger aircraft has made it nearly impossible for planes to be parked at each at the same time.
"If you want to point to one thing about why we need a new terminal, it's really the aircraft," he said.