It’s rated one of the busiest airports in Indiana, but for those who don’t work in the aviation industry, the Terre Haute Airport is probably not on your radar.
With growing community outreach, that could change.
The Terre Haute International Airport serves as a home to businesses like Stark Industries, IU Lifeline and Tri Aerospace. It’s also home base for the Air National Guard’s 181st Intelligence Wing.
In fact having more than 65,000 operations in 2015 its traffic count ranks it as the third busiest non commercial airport in the state.
“We are far enough west of Indy, so we’re not real close, but our air space is so easy to get in and out of for our businesses,” Executive director of the airport Jeff Hauser said.
Hauser not only sees its accessibility as one of it’s biggest assets, but it’s involvement with local universities like Indiana State.
“What we’re really wanting to expand on is take advantage of our universities and a lot of our technological businesses. We want to get on that front edge of technology.”
It houses the university’s aviation program and is one of the few locations in the U.S. to provide an authorized space to operate unmanned systems in a controlled airport. That includes air, land and water robots that serve in businesses ranging from agriculture to first response.
“Great economic growth in Terre Haute. And we hope to take the partnerships we’ve started, the students we’ve put out into the field and other people reaching back to us for interns and employees for the future and grow that into more business,” Indiana State University Director of Unmanned Systems, Richard Baker said.
Wednesday’s meeting also looks to some changes for the future. One being the exterior structure of the building.
No longer meeting the criteria of an international airport, a name change is also in place.
“We’re trying to see what fits us best for the future and it’s appealing and says who we are,” Hauser said.
Something else that might grab a lot of attention is a possible restaurant at the airport. Hauser says with the east side of Terre Haute growing and the airport seeing up to 500 people daily many are looking for a sit down eatery. The projects are expected to kick off in the fall.