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Indiana airports hope Super Bowl brings more business

January 9, 2012

Officials at Indiana regional airports are hoping the Super Bowl in Indianapolis will lead to more touchdowns by airplanes at their facilities.

The Indianapolis Super Bowl host committee has listed 17 regional airports as additional landing spots outside of the Indianapolis area for people headed to the game on Feb. 5.

The Tribune-Star reports that Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field is installing new floor tile, renovating bathrooms and doing other renovations expected to cost at least $250,000 to spruce up the airport about 70 miles west of Indianapolis in anticipation of Super Bowl visitors.

"Right now, we have absolutely no idea how many aircraft we will get. Our plan is for 80-plus overflow aircraft that cannot be handled at other airports," Airport Director Dennis Wiss said.

Terre Haute's airport has initial parking area for 67 aircraft with wingspans of 49 to 79 feet. Wiss said the airport has five other areas where planes can be parked.

Other airports are trying to take advantage of the surge in airplane traffic. The Monroe County Board of Aviation Commissioners announced last month it will charge $75 a day for parking planes at the airport 50 miles southwest of Bloomington in the days surrounding the game. Planes arriving on game day also will be charged a $75 landing fee. The airport has the capacity to the park up to 70 planes.

John Layne, airport manager of the Putnam County Airport, said it is too early to determine how many planes might use the much smaller airport adjacent to Greencastle, about a 45- to 60-minute drive to Indianapolis.

"It all depends on who is playing in the Super Bowl," Layne said. "Nobody has made a reservation and we have had no calls for reservations."

Layne said if both teams playing in the Super Bowl are a distance from Indianapolis, then more corporate jets are likely to fly into the area. However, if the Super Bowl teams are within driving distance, then the airport would likely see a greater number of smaller planes.

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