Published online Midwest Flyer Magazine – February/March 2021
WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. – Purdue University will commence a five-year project to rehabilitate its runways, build new taxiways, upgrade its fire and rescue operations, and update its navigation equipment at Purdue University Airport. The planned safety enhancements are intended to ease the flow of air traffic at the airport, which is also home to the busiest runway in the state.
There are 1,000 Purdue Polytechnic School of Aviation and Transportation Technology students who attend classes daily at the airport. A second Part 141 certified flight school, which is operated by Purdue Aviation (the airport’s fixed-base operator), provides thousands of hours of flight instruction annually to hundreds of additional students. The airport also has commercial charter, and corporate and cargo flights that support the air transportation needs of Tippecanoe County. In addition, Lafayette has an expanding economy, which includes world-renowned companies like Subaru, Caterpillar, GE Aviation, Rolls Royce and Wabash National.
SAAB is the newest company to begin operations in the area. Its factory is located adjacent to the airport and will build fuselages for the United States Air Force’s next-generation advanced trainer, the Boeing T-7 “Red Hawk,” also known as the Boeing T-X.
Purdue University Airport Director Adam Baxmeyer said the university selected the architecture, engineering and consulting firm Woolpert of Dayton, Ohio for the project.
Purdue University Airport is a Part 139 public-use facility. It was the first university-owned airport in the country and is the second busiest airport in Indiana.