Political agreements and government oversights have funneled taxpayers’ dollars into the underused airport for 17 years, a waste with no end in sight despite promises of passenger pickup with a new terminal.
Just north of the Indiana Toll Road, off Cline Avenue, sits the Gary/Chicago International Airport. Its name sounds substantial. Its annual budget is in the millions of dollars. And Chicagoans — along with citizens of Gary — spend millions in tax dollars every year to help keep it in business.
But in spite of an annual operating budget of more than $3 million — plus tens of millions more being spent on a runway expansion and other capital projects — the GCIA terminal sits mostly empty. The front entrance is usually locked; the parking lot is nearly vacant, and the skies are — for the most part — empty.