INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indianapolis has earned a high honor for its airport.
Indianapolis International Airport was named the 2012 best airport in North America by Airports Council International's annual Airport Service Quality awards.
Only six airports around the world earned the regional honors. It's the second time Indianapolis's airport has earned the honor. It was also ranked the best airport in North America in 2010.
Robert Duncan, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, lauded the airport's employees for the honor.
"I am proud of their dedication and I especially thank our front-line staff who greet our guests and keep our facilities clean, safe, and operational around the clock," Dundan said in a news release.
The other top airports by region were:
- Africa: Cape Town
- Asia-Pacific: Seoul Incheon
- Europe: Moscow Sheremetyevo
- Latin America–Caribbean: Cancun
- Middle East: Abu Dhabi
But two ground breakings 24 Hour News 8 has learned are scheduled later this week have the potential to offer something much more important than praise, money.
Big, bright and beautiful the Indianapolis International Airport terminal is a passengers dream, says Kristen Roob as she waits for her flight to Kansas City.
"It seems very easy to find your way around. And it's usually not too busy. It's just very nice. It seems quiet and friendly," she says.
. Duncan says about 7.2 Million passengers use the airport each year - a number that has remained flat or gone down in recent years.
"The building is large, therefore it looks a lot less crowded than it might really be," says Robert Duncan, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority
But it's what's outside the terminal that may add to the revenue and bottom line of the airport more quickly than what's inside.
Two big groundbreakings are scheduled for this week. Both will help bring new revenue to the airport, by taking currently vacant land and putting it to use.
Duncan says one groundbreaking will be for a service station convenience store at the entrance to the airport. And the other he says is, "for a solar farm out by the entrance to the airport."
The solar farm won't be run by the airport authority but it will be among the largest at any airport in the nation. It's estimated it will generate enough power for 1,200 homes a year and bring in hundreds of thousands in lease payments to Indianapolis International.
"Every airport needs revenue and particularly when you're kind of flat on your passenger growth because of the economy and the changes in business plan that airlines have done," Duncan said.
Duncan told 24 Hour News 8 the solar farm should be finished mid summer or early fall.
And he said that's just the first phase.
A second phase will be added later on. The solar panels will be anti-reflective so they won't affect pilots flying above the airport.
Duncan said expect both groundbreakings this Friday.
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