News from Gary/Chicago International Airport

Gary/Chicago International Airport is located minutes from the shores of Lake Michigan and just 25 miles from downtown Chicago. It is the official “third airport” for the Chicago metropolitan area, supplementing Chicago’s major airports, O’Hare and Midway. GYY’s 8,859 foot runway is the longest in the region other than O’Hare. GYY is a full service airport, capable of serving general aviation, corporate, commercial, and cargo users. We can accommodate aircrafts from anywhere in the world and provide a fully staffed air traffic control tower.

Avports has been providing comprehensive airport management services at GYY since 2014. We have a 10-year agreement with up to (6) consecutive additional periods of 5-year extensions. Avports is the single-source provider at GYY for airport operations, airport maintenance, administration and accounting services.

U.S. Customs Facility Opens at GYY in October

Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) announced today its new general aviation U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility is open for business and accepting international arrivals. Airport users can now fly into Gary from any destination in the world without having to stop at another airport to clear customs.

The U.S. CBP facility officially opened on Thursday, October 4. Just three days later on Sunday, October 7, GYY welcomed its first international arrival, a Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft flying direct from Copenhagen, Denmark. GYY and CBP officials were on hand to welcome the premier arrival and clear through Customs the aircraft passengers and crew, a process that took less than 30 minutes from the time the plan landed to full CBP clearance. A picture of the flight arriving at GYY is attached.

U.S. Senator Donnelly, Gary’s Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, members of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, other officials, and regional residents gathered to witness the Grand Opening of GYY’s $1.5 million U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection facility. The U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection agency represents a new market for the Northwest Region.

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Final phase of the Apron Rehabilitation Project began

On May 21, 2018 the main runway (Runway 12-30) at Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) reopened following a massive four week rehabilitation and rebuild of more than 4,000 feet of the 8,859 foot runway. The $7.9 million runway rehabilitation project was critical to extending the lifespan of the runway and increasing weight limits to allow the airport to service bigger and heavier aircraft. Approximately 22,000 man hours of labor were logged to complete the project early and on budget.

FAR 139 Tri Annual Disaster Exercise

On June 22, 2018 Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY) held a joint, full-scale training exercise responding to an aircraft situation in partnership with the City of Gary Fire Department and Indiana Army National Guard. More than 125 individuals, including dozens of first responders and emergency personnel from across the region, participated in the simulation of a mass casualty incident involving a Blackhawk helicopter colliding into a Bombardier CRJ-200 passenger aircraft carrier during a mock emergency landing. The training exercise involved six soldiers and passengers aboard the Blackhawk helicopter being extricated and treated as well as several injured ground personnel being treated. Fire officials also simulated applying a protective application of foam to prevent a fire and sent a team to contain and stop a mock jet fuel spill. In addition to testing the airport’s capabilities when faced in an emergency situation, the exercise also satisfies FAA requirements for the airport to conduct a full scale exercise on a triennial basis.

GYY Hosted the 2018 Chicago Air and Water Show

Since 1999, the Gary/Chicago International Airport has been used as the staging center for the Annual Chicago Air and Water Show. This year hundreds of spectators were able to tailgate, sit, and view the take off and landings of various acts that were a part of the show right from our own parking lot. Acts such as from the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 and the Air Force Thunderbirds were just a few planes that were housed at our airport.

GYY hosted the Indiana General Assembly Meeting

GYY hosted Gary’s Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the Indiana State Legislative Committee Meeting which discussed Northwest Indiana’s and our airports potential.

Final Check Flight completed by FAA on MALSR Project

The Final Check Flight has been completed by the FAA on our MALSR Project. The medium approach light system with runway alignment indicator lights, or MALSR, was constructed by Midwestern Electric. Approach light systems “provide the basic means to transition from instrumental flight to visual flight for landing,” according to the FAA, which owns and operates the system. The MALSR “provides visual information to pilots on runway alignment, height perception, roll guidance and horizontal references.”

New Hangars (B. Coleman and the East Hangar, B. Coleman, and the Gary Jet Center)

Progress on our East Corporate Hanger is flying along! The hangar, expected to be completed in early 2019, was part of the airport’s master plan.


B. Coleman Aviation, one of GYY’s two fixed-base operators, has opened a new 40,000 square-foot hangar meant to take advantage of growing Chicago area business. The $5 million project expands B. Coleman’s footprint at the airport to about 95,000 square feet, adding to the company’s existing hangar and headquarters. Fixed-base operators offer aircraft storage and maintenance services as well as hospitality and meeting facilities to general aviation clients.

The Gary Jet Center opened a new $5 million LEED-certified hangar and a $3 million terminal.
The sleek, modern facility will help bring a needed transformation from the “routine and expected” to “first class” for corporate and general aviation customers says Jet Center’s President, Lynn Eplawy.

Staffing & Professional Development Training

Our Development Motto: Invest in our employees how we would want our employees to invest in us! As a part of our employee development plan, our TEAM has recently completed CPR & Emergency Response Training, Driver’s Training and Safety Training. We would like to congratulate Andrew Adams, our Senior Operations Officer and William Outlar our Finance Manager on their recent achievements’ in becoming certified in ACE Operations! We would also like to congratulate Ezerine Harris and Ralynn Crockett for completing the Governmental Accounting Introduction Course from the Government Finance Officers Association. Our GYY Staff are well on their way to excelling in the aviation industry!

In the month of September GYY welcomed Curt Ulmen (Airport Manager) and Kenneth Cast (Asst. Airport Manager) to the Avports Family.

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