GARY | Gary/Chicago International Airport's new private operator AvPorts will begin interviews of all airport staff this week in preparation for decisions on hiring to be made in the coming weeks.
New airport interim manager Duncan Henderson on Monday said no decision has been made yet on how many employees AvPorts will need to operate the airport. He also said it was to early to say how many current employees may be offered jobs.
The airport currently employs 18 people in positions such as management, clerical, maintenance and operations.
Current Airport Interim Director B.R. Lane will continue to be employed by the Airport Authority in her current position, according to airport spokesman James Ward. Lane was hired as airport interim director in September on the recommendation of Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. Lane was the mayor's chief of staff at City Hall.
In January, the Gary airport authority signed a 10-year deal with AvPorts to run the airport. It also inked a 40-year deal with AvPorts' parent company, Aviation Facilities Co. Inc., to be the airport's exclusive real estate developer.
AvPorts continues to work on a budget and business plan for the airport, Henderson told the airport authority during its regular meeting Monday at the airport administration building. It plans to complete work on those within the 120-day time frame laid out in its contract, he said.
Under the contract between AvPorts and the authority, the authority must approve the budget and business plan for them to go into effect.
Airport expansion manager Dan Vicari told the authority remediation and capping of the highly polluted Conservation Chemical site will begin this month. Conservation Chemical was the site of an asphalt plant and refinery and must be cleaned up before the runway expansion can proceed.
Airport Interim Director B.R. Lane told the authority board the city administration is continuing to present forums in city council members' districts to explain the airport's public-private partnerships with AvPorts and AFCO.
There will be three next week, with all running from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. On April 21 the forum will be for the 4th and 5th council districts at Gary Neighborhood Services, 300 W. 21st Ave. On April 22 the forum will be for the 6th council district at the Ivy Tech Muti-Purpose Room, 1440 E. 35th Ave. On April 23 the forum will be for the 1st district at the Marquette Pavilion, at Marquette Park.