Officials see Gary runway expansion as economic catalyst

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By: Jon Zimney

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Officials say the completion of an 8,900-foot runway has given Gary/Chicago International Airport the capability to relieve O’Hare and Midway of some traffic and possibly provide a long sought economic catalyst for the region.

The $174 million project added 1,900 feet to an existing 7,000-foot runway and will allow the airport to serve planes of all sizes.

Supporters of the project have long viewed it as a potential economic catalyst for the city of Gary and northwestern Indiana. Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly told about 400 people at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday that it was “a new day for the city of Gary, with additional great jobs, additional opportunity.”

Federal Aviation Administration Associate Administrator Eduardo Angeles says the runway will bring a substantial increase in air capacity to the Chicago area.