IMS Transforming Into Airport Ahead of Air Race

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Hulman Boulevard has been transformed into Hulman Runway for the second annual race. Hulman Boulevard has been transformed into Hulman Runway for the second annual race.

As the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prepares for the Red Bull Air Race next weekend, President Doug Boles says the track is awaiting certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to become an airport. IMS crews have removed the pedestrian bridge that runs over Hulman Boulevard on the track's infield so the road can become Hulman Runway, which the planes will use while competing in the second annual event.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Boles said because the planes will be flying in and out of the track, IMS will operate as an FAA-controlled airport and obey the same rules that are implemented at any other airport.

"There are certain areas that you can't have people because the planes could theoretically land here or take off here, so it just is a different way of operating," said Boles. "When the pilots are here flying, they're controlled so they're told when they can take off and when they can land, so it becomes a controlled airfield. It's a completely different process for us."

This year's race is the final event of the season and will see the crowning of a new world champion. Boles says the change in the schedule has created a buzz for the event.

"For us, it's been a great opportunity to talk about our community and for the pilots in the Red Bull Air Race to talk about our community and what Indianapolis is known for, which is crowning champions," he said. "We're really excited that the final race of the year is here so we're not just going to celebrate a champion of our race; we're actually going to celebrate the champion of the series as well. It should be a lot of fun, but it's been neat all year long to see people talking about, 'We can't wait to go to Indianapolis.'"

Boles adds while he thinks the crowd will be slightly smaller than last year's inaugural race, he still expects a good turnout, especially among families. You can learn more about the Red Bull Air Race by clicking here.

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