Where does the airport fit into plans to expand Terre Haute’s east side?

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As Terre Haute continues to expand its east side, where does the airport fit in?

With the business corridor along Indiana 46/US 40 being adjacent to the Terre Haute Regional Airport, developers are provided with additional opportunities but are also faced with unique challenges.

Representatives from the airport and a Strategic Plan project team held a public meeting Thursday to provide information about those opportunities and challenges.

Project manager Monica Newhouse explained that the strategic plan includes Gateway beautification, development options and the creation of airport overlay zoning.

“The airport gets a huge advantage of people knowing the airport is there. Along that corridor there’s not much attention paid to the airport, but it’s right there. That could mean business development,” Newhouse said

According to Newhouse, beautification of the Gateway will include landscaping, artwork and signage used to announce the district, provide directional information and offer continuity along the corridor.

While the City’s eastside continues to develop, the airport has potential future developments of its own including an expansion of hangar facilities, possible military support facilities and proposed solar development.

“What do I expect in one year? You’re going to see more upscale, more different types of businesses on this side. Restaurants maybe, things like that,” Board Member, Rick Burger said. “The casino is going to bring so much. This VA hospital, I don’t think people understand the jewel of that. That is going to draw thousands of people,”

To protect the airport’s ability to expand, Newhouse explained, it is important to create zoning for the area. Zoning would include height limitations, lighting and signal interference, hazardous wildlife attractants and aircraft noise in land use planning to meet federal and state requirements.

“If we plan for it now, it won’t be an issue later,” Newhouse noted.

It’s an issue acknowledged by members with the airport.

“When they’re building these, they put cranes up. Sometimes they’ll put them into areas we are not allowed to fly. There are ways we can work around them, we just have to know in advance,” Jeff Hauser, Executive Director of Terre Haute Regional Airport said.

Now the airport is seeking public comment as they move forward with the first phase of the strategic plan. Newhouse said that while input was sought from area land owners, business owners and other community leaders, they want to be sure that they haven’t overlooked any aspects of the project.

“There’s a lot of opportunities on both sides, the more development that happens the more opportunities there are for the airport and vise versa,” Newhouse said.

Those wanting to provide comments or input into the strategic plan may do so by emailing PublicComment@Newhouse.Associates between now and March 19.

For more information, visit HUF.com.

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