Gary/Chicago Airport celebrates 500th international arrival • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Gary/Chicago International Airport

Gary/Chicago Airport celebrates 500th international arrival

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The 500th international flight recently touched down at the Gary/Chicago International Airport.

The airport has steadily increased its international operations since opening a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in 2018. It has averaged 13 arrivals per month since January.

“This milestone demonstrates the continued appeal of our airport to a host of air travelers, including those coming from overseas markets in Asia, the Middle East and Europe,” said Dan Vicari, GCIA executive director, in a press release. “This recent arrival is further proof of the substantial role GCIA plays in Chicago’s air transportation system, which is one of the busiest aviation.”

The availability of an onsite customs facility has helped attract international air travelers, as they are able to fly into the airport without needing to stop elsewhere to clear customs. The airport has two fixed base operators in B. Coleman Aviation and the Gary Jet Center.

“The on-site facility is a tremendous asset to our business-oriented clients, who frequently determine their aviation choices based on time and convenience to their final destination,” said John Girzadas, B. Coleman Aviation president. “The onsite customs facility has been very helpful for B. Coleman Aviation, as it has helped to open international markets and attract overseas travelers for our company.”

In 2015, the airport extended its main runway to about 9,000 feet, which allowed for larger and heavier aircraft. In 2020, the airport began cargo service operations through UPS. In late 2023, the airport acquired Griffith-Merrillville Airport.

The Gary/Chicago International Airport is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. It was created in 1939 by the Airport Board and city of Gary. In 2022, it received FAA approval for its master plan, a planning document that will guide the airport’s development over the next several decades.

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