Woolpert has been retained on a five-year contract by Purdue University to provide on-call engineering and architecture services at the Purdue University Airport. The firm will provide runway rehabilitation, taxiway installments, fire and rescue upgrades, navigation improvements and additional support as needed.
Purdue University Airport is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Part 139 airport. It was the first university-owned airport in the country and is the second busiest airport in Indiana. Woolpert Vice President and Aviation Market Director Chris Snyder said planned safety enhancements will ease the flow of traffic at the public airport, which also is home to the busiest runway in the state.
“There are 1,000 Purdue Polytechnic School of Aviation and Transportation Technology students who attend classes daily at the airport,” Snyder said. “A second Part 141 certified flight school, which is operated by Purdue Aviation (the airport’s fixed-base operator), provides thousands of hours of flight instruction annually to hundreds of additional students. Thousands of instructional flights are conducted by each of these schools every week.”
Snyder said the airport also has commercial charter, corporate and cargo flights that support the aviation needs of Tippecanoe County. He said activity is expected to increase in the coming years due to Purdue University’s continued growth and Greater Lafayette’s expanding economy, which includes world-renowned companies like Subaru, Caterpillar, GE Aviation, Rolls Royce and Wabash National.
“SAAB is the newest company to begin operations in the area,” Snyder said. “Their factory is adjacent to the Purdue University Airport and will build fuselages for the United States Air Force’s next-generation advanced trainer, the Boeing T-7 Red Hawk—also known as the Boeing T-X.”
Snyder, a Purdue graduate, said Woolpert has supported previous Purdue University Airport on-call contracts. Projects have included reconstructing the airport’s primary runway, replacing Precision Approach Path Indicators, implementing safety phasing plans for air traffic and the control tower, replacing and upgrading all airfield signage, widening shoulders and improving taxiway safety, and installing runway guard lights.
“Purdue is a very innovative organization. They thrive on using the latest technologies like unmanned aircraft systems and mobile mapping to solve problems, and they have forged partnerships around the world,” Snyder said. “Their pursuit and understanding of the latest aviation technologies is one of the reasons Purdue Polytechnic’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology is among the top-ranked flight programs in the world.”
Woolpert provides on-call services to more than 20 airports in Indiana, provides engineering and geospatial services to commercial and general aviation airports across the country, has experts who serve on national aviation boards, and works with the FAA on projects and processes.
Purdue University Airport Director Adam Baxmeyer said the university selected Woolpert through a competitive selection process.
“All public airports must follow FAA policy when selecting a consultant for federally funded projects. Our selection committee received multiple qualified proposals and ranked Woolpert’s the highest,” Baxmeyer said. “We’ve worked with Woolpert for the past five years and are looking forward to our continued relationship.”