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Airport abuzz with construction

Board apprised on parking lot; access road OK’d

There are plenty of changes going on at Fort Wayne International Airport, some of which are apparent in the parking lot, where the car rental lot is fenced off and under construction with plans calling for it to be moved and improved.

Airport Authority board members on Monday heard an update on the $2.8 million lot project – which will be financed through car rental fees – and also approved vacating Keller Road and a portion of Indianapolis Road to make way for a new access road to serve businesses, airport buildings and hangars west of the terminal.

The $2.7 million federally funded access road is expected to be finished in August and will offer much easier access to the adjacent airport businesses and services than before, Airport Executive Director Scott Hinderman said.

“The access was just awful before,” he said.

The road will start at Smith and Ferguson roads and continue past Indianapolis Road.

A new fixed-base operator building, drive and parking lot will be built near the new west access road. The buildings, commonly called FBOs, are commercial businesses granted the right by an airport to operate on the property and provide aeronautical services such as fueling, hangars, aircraft rental or maintenance or flight instruction.

Inside the airport, Allegiant Air will soon have its own counter space for customer service. Passengers of Allegiant have been using the American Eagle staff and counter. Construction on the 950-square-foot space is expected to be finished in July, which will allow Allegiant customer service to be side-by-side with those of United and Delta airlines, Hinderman said.

“It means another $2,411 in revenue” that Allegiant will pay the airport, he said.

By May’s end, travel was up nearly 11 percent over last year, with Allegiant boasting a 40 percent increase and United Airlines a 15 percent increase, according to airport spokeswoman Jessica Miller.