The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA), in partnership with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne Inc., hosted their annual Air Service Luncheon in downtown Fort Wayne today, November 7, 2018, at the Courtyard Fort Wayne Marriott Downtown.
Over 55 community members attended the event including Mayor Tom Henry, Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer, Tinisha Weigelt, District Director of the office of Congressman Jim Banks, and two Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority Board Members. Keynote Speaker, Airport Authority air service consultant, Rhett Morgan, Director at Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting, stressed the importance of the community utilizing FWA and the air service that Fort Wayne has.
Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) is one of the few airports with higher capacity levels today vs. 2008 in comparison to peer Midwest markets. On average, flights in and out of the Fort Wayne market are 79% full, which is on point with the industry average for a market of its size. Mr. Morgan reiterated that using the newest non-stop route to and from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on American Airlines is important in order to sustain the route. To gain new air service, the community must utilize the existing routes that the airport offers. Fort Wayne has strong air service given its population base and is well connected to the largest hubs across the country, including service to 7 major hubs – Atlanta (ATL), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis (MSP), and Philadelphia (PHL).
John Urbahns, Vice President of Development at Greater Fort Wayne Inc., spoke about building a nationally recognized economy – growing jobs, wages, and air service. Mr. Urbahns reiterated why air service is so important to our region’s economic development efforts. Projects such as The Landing, Riverfront Development, and Electric Works, will drive our economic growth – attracting new residents, increasing the population, and making Fort Wayne more of a destination city.
John Sampson, President and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, gave a presentation regarding increasing the population which would increase air service for the region. He mentioned three goals that he is working on achieving- increasing per capita personal income annually against the national average, increasing the population of Northeast Indiana to one million residents, and increasing postsecondary attainment to more than 60%.
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority strives to bring new air service to the region, as well as up-gauge aircraft to existing routes. So far in 2018, FWA has seen a 3.39% growth year over year, and anticipates this to be the 9th consecutive year of passenger growth, as long as the community continues to support their local airport.