South Bend flights start next week for Cape Air

Nov. 9--GARY -- Gary/Chicago International Airport director Chris Curry will get an up-close look at Cape Air next week, when he travels to South Bend Regional Airport for the airline's inaugural Indiana flights.

The airline will be providing service from South Bend to Indianapolis and Evansville. It also has agreements with AirTran and Frontier airlines to connect with their flights in Indianapolis, Curry said after Thursday's airport authority meeting.

Cape Air, based in Hyannis, Mass., flies to eight destinations in New England and seven more in Florida and the Caribbean, using Cessna 402s, which are nine-passenger, twin-engine aircraft. It also will use Cessna 402s in Indiana.

The Gary airport has hired a consultant in hopes of landing Cape Air in Gary, which could happen by early next year, if the South Bend flights prove profitable.

In other business, the airport authority renewed and amended several contracts, many tied to airport expansion.

The authority approved paying $360,000 to buy six acres of wetlands to satisfy environmental regulations for disrupting three acres of wetlands at the airport for expansion. The six acres will be purchased from the Lake Erie land bank in Lake Station.

A contract with Commonwealth Associates for moving high voltage power lines was increased by $60,000 to cover design work the firm will do on moving a NIPSCO power substation.

A contract with TranSystems was increased by $186,000 to cover extra design and other work needed to present plans to railroads for moving tracks at the end of the main runway.

The above work is being paid for largely through grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.

A contract with Hill International was renewed for the services of expansion program manager Adel Webhi. The salary for Webhi is $110,000 under the contract.

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