Gary/Chicago International Airport
|Gary/Chicago International Airport|
|IATA: GYY – ICAO: KGYY – FAA LID: GYY|
|Owner||Gary/Chicago Airport Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||591 ft / 180 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Gary/Chicago International Airport (IATA: GYY, ICAO: KGYY, FAA LID: GYY) is a public airport three miles northwest of Gary, in Lake County, Indiana, 25 miles (40 km) southeast of the Chicago Loop. It is operated by the Gary Chicago Airport Authority, the basis for which was formed by the Chicago Gary Airport Compact signed in 1995. Nearby highway connections include I-90, I-80, I-94, I-65 and the Chicago Skyway.
Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 4,353 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 1,633 in 2009 and 2,143 in 2010. It is in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which called it a non-primary commercial service airport based on enplanements in 2008 (between 2,500 and 10,000 per year) but would be categorized as general aviation based on enplanements in 2010.
Gary/Chicago is the official "third airport" for the Chicago metropolitan area, supplementing Chicago's major airports, O'Hare and Midway. Gary/Chicago Airport has been designed with an eye towards growth, and the administration is courting airlines aggressively. Numerous businesses, including Boeing, Menards and White Lodging Services, base their corporate aircraft here. A National Guard installation has been built.
Federal funds were secured in January 2006 to move railroad tracks away from the northwest corner to allow extension of the main runway to 9,000 feet, as well as add gates to the existing passenger terminal building. The recent creation of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority is expected to draw more state and local dollars for infrastructure improvements and additions.
Expanding Gary/Chicago Airport is an alternative to constructing a new airport near Peotone, Illinois, 30 miles south of Chicago. One advantage of expanding the Gary airport is its proximity to downtown Chicago. This plan is backed by the mayors of Gary and Chicago, while the Illinois state government is in favor of construction at Peotone. Tax revenues from a new airport at Peotone would go to the Illinois state government, while those from an expanded Gary airport would go to a regional airport authority, and thus to the cities of Chicago and Gary.
A long-standing proposal to turn the Gary/Chicago International Airport into Chicago's third major airport received a boost in early 2006 with the approval of $48 million in federal funding over the next ten years. Expansion plans include a new multi-level Intermodal Terminal combining three modes of transit – passenger rail, passenger vehicles, and air travel. The rail system is designed to combine both commuter and high-speed lines.
High tension power lines along the west end of the airport are buried. A tentative agreement has been reached with the railroads that will allow relocation of elevated tracks currently blocking the west end of runway 30. Completion of these projects is required to make way for a lengthening of the main runway.
Facilities and aircraft
Gary/Chicago International Airport covers 675 acres (273 ha) at an elevation of 591 feet (180 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt runways: 12/30 is 7,003 by 150 feet (2,135 x 46 m) and 2/20 is 3,603 by 100 feet.
In 2012 the airport had 30,733 aircraft operations, average 84 per day: 83% general aviation, 13% military, 3% air taxi, and 1% scheduled commercial. 89 aircraft were then based at this airport: 40% single-engine, 20% multi-engine, 30% jet, and 9% helicopter.
Gary/Chicago International Airport was once served by Pan Am, Southeast Airlines, SkyValue Airlines, Skybus Airlines and Hooters Air, with flights to cities such as Hartford, Connecticut; St. Petersburg, Florida; Greensboro, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Prior to its bankruptcy in 2004 ATA Airlines planned turboprop service to several Indiana cities by its subsidiary, Chicago Express/ATA Connection, but the service was never started as Chicago Express Airlines was grounded in March 2005. Before ultimately choosing to serve Chicago O'Hare International Airport in 2006, JetBlue Airways considered flights to Gary/Chicago International Airport.
Skybus Airlines served the airport until the airline folded on April 4, 2008. Since that time there have been no scheduled passenger flights out of the Gary/Chicago Airport, but charter airlines frequently fly casino trips to Atlantic City, Harrah's Tunica, and Beau Rivage Biloxi.
On December 12, 2011 Allegiant Air announced they will begin service to Orlando Sanford International Airport two days a week beginning February 15, 2012. Allegiant had considered Gary/Chicago International Airport before, but aircraft operational limits resulted in the airline deciding against Gary until the runway expansion was completed.
On May 24th, 2013 Allegiant Air reported it is cancelling air service out of Gary in August. The last flights will be in July with an early August stop date. Allegiant however has stated they are interested in looking at any other plans or idea's to have service out of Gary in the future. Once Allegiant shuts down operations in August, there will no longer be any major commercial airline service out of Gary Airport.
For many years airplanes seen in the Chicago Air & Water Show have flown from here, including the military's C5A Galaxy and the Thunderbirds. Since 1999, the Gary Air Show has based their operations here as well.
The South Shore Line commuter rail train serves the Gary/Chicago International Airport. The station, which is known as Gary Airport/Clark Road, is located near Second Avenue, approximately one mile south of the terminal. Service runs to downtown Chicago.
- FAA Airport Master Record for GYY ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective October 17, 2013.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- "FAA Contract Tower Closure List". American Association of Airport Executives. March 22, 2013.
- "FAA: 149 control towers to close at small airports". USA Today. March 22, 2013.
- "Gary Airport Gets Millions in Federal Funding". CBS 2 Chicago. January 16, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2006.
- "Gary-Chicago Airport". Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Retrieved January 7, 2007.
- "Allegiant Air sets Florida as destination from Gary". The Times of Northwest Indiana (nwitimes.com). December 13, 2011. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
- "Boeing Makes Aviation History at Gary/Chicago Airport". Gary/Chicago International Airport. Retrieved January 7, 2007.