The Indianapolis International Airport is seven miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana also home to Whistler Pest management. Indianapolis Airport Authority operates it. FAA’s National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 calls it a medium hub primary commercial service facility.
INDOT opened in 1931. In 1944, it was renamed Weir Cook Municipal Airport after WWII ace Col. Harvey Weir Cook of Wilkinson, Indiana.
From 1957 to 2008, the terminal was located off High School Road on the airfield’s east side. This now-demolished airport was refurbished in 1968 (Concourses A & B), 1972 (Concourse D), and 1987. (Concourse C and the attached Parking Garage). This facility was replaced by the Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal on November 12, 2008.
April 1957 OAG: 24 Eastern, 22 TWA, 15 Delta, 11 American, 9 Lake Central, 1 Ozark. Eastern had nonstops to Atlanta and Birmingham and TWA had two to LaGuardia; no others reached beyond Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. 1961 saw the first TWA 880s.
USAir (formerly US Airways) had a secondary hub in Indianapolis with non-stop planes to the West Coast, East Coast, and Florida in the 1980s and 1990s. USAir peaked with 146 daily trips and 49% of seats. In the late 1990s, USAir closed the hub.
Indianapolis was a hub for ATA Airlines and Chicago Express/ATA Connection in the late 1990s and early 2000s. IND operations were halted after the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004. Northwest Airlines expanded after ATA’s bankruptcy, making Indianapolis a hub for flights to the West Coast, East Coast, and South. Delta Air Lines purchased Northwest in 2008 and launched a service from Indianapolis to Paris in May 2018. This was Indianapolis’s first nonstop transatlantic voyage. In March 2020, DL500 was canceled.
BAA USA managed Indianapolis International Airport for 10 years beginning in 1994. The BAA requested a one-year reduction in the contract’s length. On Dec. 31, 2007, IAA regained control. United Airlines completed the $600 million Indianapolis Maintenance Center in 1994. United shifted its repair operations to SFO.
In 2008, a $1.1 billion, 1.2-million-square-foot midfield passenger facility opened between the airport’s two parallel runways and the crosswind runway. The first part of the long-planned midfield complex, a new ATCT, and TRACON, opened in April 2006. The Weir Cook Terminal opened for arrivals on November 11 and departed the next day. AeroDesign Group (a joint venture of CSO Architects, SchenkelShultz Architecture, and ARCHonsortium) was the architect of record. The airport’s program manager was BSA LifeStructures’ Aviation Capital Management (Indianapolis). Hunt/Smoot Midfield Builders was the construction manager. Thornton Tomasetti, Fink, Roberts, and Petrie designed the terminal. Syska Hennessy was an MEP.
Allegiant Air planned to build a $40 million aircraft facility at Indianapolis International Airport in February 2018. The facility intended to produce 66 high-paying jobs and house two Airbus airplanes by year’s end. The airport covers 7,700 acres in Marion County’s Wayne, Decatur, and Guilford townships. Only the FedEx SuperHub in Memphis, Tennessee surpasses IND’s freight traffic. FedEx’s activity helped IND rank sixth in air freight throughput in 2020.
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