Published on Sunday, August 20th 2017, 6:34 pm EDT
DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) - Major changes are coming to the Delphi Municipal Airport.
Airport leaders are hoping it will lead to a boost in economic growth for the city of Delphi.
"There's so much potential here," said Airport Manager Jason Hart. "I don't think many people around the area realize how important this airport is to the vicinity or Delphi in particular."
The Delphi Municipal Airport has been serving the Carroll County community for nearly 50 years. Hart said at the moment, there isn't much traffic coming in and out of the airport.
"We might find two or three planes a week which isn't substantial," Hart said.
To accommodate more airplanes, airport leaders discussed a runway extension. Thanks to funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation an extension is ready for takeoff.
Beginning Monday, the airport will close for two weeks as crews begin the first of three phases of construction on the $300,000 project.
"We're closing the airport to expand it to 4,000 feet," said Hart. "Currently we're around 2,900 feet and while that's decent for the area, we want to be able to bring in larger planes, more twin engines and allow the community to grow."
Hart said crews will be busy during the first round.
"During phase one we're going to be doing the grading and draining of the dirt work," Hart said.
The second phase will include paving while the third phase will include laying down markings and lighting. As far as what this means for the city of Delphi, Hart believes airport access will lead many businesses to relocate, ultimately creating jobs.
"We're going to allow businesses to come in and fly around the nation on their own time and that way Delphi looks like a great place to live," said Hart.
Aviation commissioner Larry Gruber also supports the plan.
"It's a step forward toward promoting this whole area from a commerce point of view," Gruber said.
He's watched the airport transform since the 1980's.
"It's just a big opportunity for the community and we're taking advantage of it," said Gruber. "I think it can lead to some good potential."
"We want to get this done so we can grow Delphi, that's our main objective here," Hart said. "We're not here to grow the airport per say, but we're here to allow Delphi to expand."
A timeline has not been set for the project. Hart said the airport is still taking bids for the third phase.
If you have any questions about the airport or are interested in leasing a hangar, you can contact Hart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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