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September 26, 2013

New access road will serve Hulman Field guard base

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute International Airport Authority Board on Wednesday heard discussion about a new access road to the 181st Intelligence Wing based on the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

Airport Executive Director Bill McKown said Indiana 342 (which currently connects with Indiana 42) will be closed and later reopen with a new access road coming off Indiana 42 in the northeast corner of the Indiana Air National Guard base.

Indiana 342 now poses an obstruction in a “runway protection zone,” McKown said. 

“It’s a significant safety issue. The hazard being the obstacles inside the protection zone, the vehicles in this case,” McKown said.

The roadwork is set to begin sometime before the end of the year.

McKown also told the board about a discussion he and other officials had with Federal Aviation Administration officials “to plead our case” to secure funding for the rehabilitation of runway 1836, which is at the western quadrant general aviation site of the airport. The runway is in need of repairs.

Program Manager Azra Hussain of the FFA’s Great Lakes District visited Monday and saw firsthand the work that needs to be done.

Also at the meeting, McKown asked the board to form a committee to develop a “construction remodel plan” for the restaurant facility at the airport, which has been vacant since Louise’s Italian Fine Dining left in mid-February.

McKown said the committee is important in order to plan on the next steps regarding the restaurant, including the use of airport funds to renovate the restaurant (which includes clean-up and demolition of the bar area) “to make it more appealing to a prospective restaurant operator.”

It was announced at the board meeting that the airport hired a new marketing coordinator. Abigail Harlan started her new position about a week and a half ago.

The airport board also welcomed city-appointed new member, Darrel Zeck, who is director of business development and government relations at Stark Industries.

“I think that the airport has a lot to offer the community, the state, the region. I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the last year, and we’ve got quite a bit more that we can do,” Zeck said after his first board meeting.  

“I look forward to [using] my over 20 years of experience in the aviation business, working toward that and being a good partner for the airport,” Zeck added.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@tribstar.com.

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