Following Donnelly’s Efforts that Resulted in Gary Airport Expansion, Senator Helps Open New Airport Customs Facility

Senator’s work, starting in 2013, led to extended runway that paved the way for this customs facility, more passengers, and increased cargo operations at the airport

Gary, Ind. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly joined Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and other local leaders to open the new customs facility at the Gary/Chicago International Airport. Beginning in 2013, and lasting more than 18 months, Donnelly and his office worked closely with key stakeholders – including leading weekly calls with the railroad companies – to resolve issues that had stalled the completion of the Gary/Chicago International Airport runway expansion project. Donnelly also helped facilitate three meetings between the railroad companies, local stakeholders, and airport officials, leading to an October 2014 agreement.

The runway expansion, which was completed in June 2015, has allowed larger planes to land at the airport and led to more passengers and an increase in cargo operations utilizing the facility. Growth at the airport has driven the need for a new customs facility. The opening of this new customs facility will mean airport users can fly into Gary from around the world without having to stop elsewhere to clear customs. 

Donnelly said, “This new customs facility is a significant upgrade for the Gary/Chicago International Airport and for the City of Gary, allowing for international passenger flights to fly directly into northwest Indiana. I was proud to work with Mayor Freeman-Wilson and other local stakeholders to clear all the obstacles needed to extend the airport’s runway, which helped the airport move forward with its expansion plans and paved the way for this new facility. I am optimistic these infrastructure improvements will further boost the region’s economy and create local jobs.”


Donnelly helps cut the ribbon for the new Gary/Chicago International Airport customs facility. To see more, HD-quality photos click here.