TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– The Terre Haute Regional Airport held its “State of the Airport” address for the first time in several years, touting $273 million in economic impact over 2022. 

Executive director Jeff Hauser said the number came from a study done by the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Aviation Office— and was the largest number for any general aviation airport in the state.

He said the airport is seeing about 10% growth in operations per year recently– putting them ahead of schedule.

“We get about 10% per year growth. INDOT aviation was thinking we would get about 81,000 by the year 2039, we probably will hit that in the next five years or so,” he said.

The airport also showcased its new fire truck– which cost around $750,000, paid by grant money– to local officials who were on hand. 

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett said that he wants to see the airport continue to grow in the coming years.

“$273 million is significant. More than significant,” he said. “It’s a jewel that we really have in our community, when you look at economic development activity, this generates its own little world out here at the airport with much more potential for growth.”

He said its growth is a part of a revitalization of the city’s east side– as other projects are also in the works.

“You’re going to see much more retail and other kinds of businesses coming out on state road 46,” he said. “The casino, obviously, we’re going to build a new firehouse on this side, as the city of Terre Haute. We’re looking at an athletic facility, a waterpark, that will be located somewhere on the east side most likely, because we need about 100 acres.”

Hauser said the airport may look to add several hangars in coming years to facilitate more business on their property.

“We’re going to have to look at maybe putting in more hangars, which honestly will drive more operations here, it’ll bring more people into the airport as well,” he said. 

The next airport board meeting will be Feb. 8th, and is open to the public.