Global Connections

In a global world, connection is key. Scott Hinderman, Executive Director of Airports for the Fort Wayne – Allen County Airport Authority, explains that this is a primary concern of the Fort Wayne International Airport.

“We want to make sure we have great access,” he said. “People in the region, we want to make sure they have access to the globe. [And] we want to make sure the globe has access to come and do business in Fort Wayne.”

In other words, access is an economic necessity. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and the Airport Authority have partnered to make Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana economically competitive.

This partnership has yielded additional capacity and expanded route options. Last year, two new flights were unveiled: to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Charlotte, North Carolina, operated by American Airlines. This is a rare occurrence.


“Airlines don’t typically just come into a community anymore. They want some kind of risk abatement,” Hinderman explained. “We said, ‘If you come in two flights a day we will give some financial support as a risk abatement, and you’ll give this region a connection.’”

And the airport, in turn, provides jobs. Airports need lots of land to operate, but it’s not all terminals and runways; some of it can be made available for other, compatible uses, and GFW Inc. has site selectors working to develop these areas.

Some of this land is home to the new Fort Wayne Aero Center, a fixed base operator (FBO) that will begin offering services on January 1, 2016. An FBO is a private commercial business that provides aircraft fueling, parking, hangar rental, and other services to commercial carriers and general aviation users. Fort Wayne Aero Center’s operations are complementary to those of the Airport Authority, and it will operate out of a new facility that is currently under construction.


The Fort Wayne International Airport is an important asset, and it’s thriving; over the last five years, the airport has enjoyed considerable growth. In 2015, traffic is projected to be up 15 percent. This is a great sign for the airport, but an even better one for the community. This sort of reciprocal relationship is at the heart of FWA’s value.

“The community is really supporting the local airport,” Hinderman said. And the reverse is also true: the airport, in partnership with GFW Inc., provides crucial support for the community.

Ultimately, he said, the airport serves as a gateway for commerce, the “welcome mat to Fort Wayne.”




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