“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.
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 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.”