We’re Growing and It’s Showing

Airport History: Since 1979, private investment in the airport has been increasing substantially. There are now 20 buildings on the airport, of which 12 were privately constructed. In La Porte, we see this large private investment as a vote of confidence in the way in which the City has maintained and developed the airport. The La Porte Municipal Airport is a fine general aviation airport by any standards. It will allow virtually any business aircraft to land at the field with services for them. This includes an aircraft and power plant shop, a flight school, a radio shop, and an overhaul facility.

1903

Wright-Flier-Kitty-Hawk

We begin our airport history with the beginning of aviation when the Wright Brothers make their famous flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1910

Local LaPorte resident, Elmer Burlingame, designs monoplane.
elmer-burlingame     Elmer Bulingame flies monoplane

1920

Curtis Jenny aircraftA JN-4D Curtis by-plane, owned by Frank Kemp, lands in LaPorte. Frank Kemp becomes first citizen of LaPorte County to own a plane.

1924

Flying field receives recognition in LaPorte County three miles east of current airport. Owner of the field, C. Nelson, presents flying circus, balloon ascension, military band, military air show, wing-walker handcuffed to the plane and an aviation artist who performed on a rope ladder.

1930

Gerry Demunck becomes manager of the first airfield, located on the Ridgeway Farm just south of LaPorte. The field is home to Gerry’s Flight School and charter business

1933

Due to winds of gale proportions, United Airlines is forced to land at LaPorte Air Field.

1934

The LaPorte Chamber of Commerce appeals to the City for funding of the airport field. After the City’s four-year lease expired, the airport prevailed and the City provided the needed funds.

1942

The Civil Aviation Authority requires that LaPorte Airport provide increased security, a 24-hour armed guard, and a daytime clearance officer.

1945

City of LaPorte takes over ownership of airport, with increased development of land and building structures. First two hangars are constructed.

1958

The City executes its first federal grant agreement to pave the runway, which was then  2,500 feet by 60 feet. In that same year, the City entered into a leaseback transaction with  contractor Don Hastings for the construction of two T-hangars, which would house a total of eighteen aircraft. Those T-hangars still stand today.

1958

The City executes its first federal grant agreement to pave the runway, which was then 2,500 feet by 60 feet. In that same year, the City entered into a leaseback transaction with contractor Don Hastings for the construction of two T-hangars, which would house a total of eighteen aircraft. Those T-hangars still stand today.

1973

The airport embarks upon a plan to complete it’s 1958 grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration.

1978

Grant from Indiana Aeronautics Commission and loan from the Department of Commerce to purchase 50 acres on south side of airport.

1979

LaPorte closes country road and obtains federal master planning agreement.  The runway is lengthened to the south for a total distance of 3,300 feet.

1980

Received grant from Federal Aviation Administration to purchase 80 acres on north side of airport.

1985

Runway is lengthened again by 1,100 feet, bringing the total to 4,400 feet.

1987

New terminal building is constructed.

1989

LaPorte’s City Council adopts an ordinance creating an airport authority.

1992

A full parallel taxiway is installed on the primary runway.

1995

The runway is widened to 75 feet, new runway lights are installed and the City of LaPorte authorizes a $1.2 million bond for airport projects. Among the main accomplishments with the bond proceeds are the construction of a new T-hangar on the west side of the field, the renovation of one of the original hangars on the east side of the field, modernizing the terminal building and the construction and paving of a new cross-wind runway.

2000

Runway 2/20 is extended to a total distance of 5,000 feet.

2009

Expansion of ramp area near terminal building.

2012

construction of corporate hangarConstruction of a new 100 x 100 private corporate hangar.

2013

Airfield lighting improvements installed, including lighting of taxiways and runway 14/32, and installation of a new PAPI on runway 14/32.
Laporte Municipal Airport

Laporte Municipal Airport