A committee set up to assess proposals for development around Gary/Chicago International Airport has started exclusive negotiations with a company based in the Washington, D.C. area. Officials believe talks with Aviation Facilities Company Inc. should be completed in the coming weeks and a final recommendation will be presented to the airport authority next month. October 25, 2013

News Release

GARY, IN, October 25, 2013 – The Ad Hoc Committee of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, appointed to evaluate public-private partnership (P3) proposals to invest in the airport and the surrounding area, today announced it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Aviation Facilities Company Inc./AvPORTS (AFCO).

The Committee expects to conclude negotiations in the coming weeks and present a final recommendation to the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority next month.

“Entering into exclusive negotiations is an important step toward our goal of unlocking the value of the airport and the surrounding area to attract jobs, long-term investment and professional management to the airport,” said Carrie J. Hightman, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee and Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of NiSource Inc.

In September, the Committee announced it had begun negotiations with two leading respondents – Aviation Facilities Company Inc./AvPORTS and the GCIA Group.

“We are proud to have been selected to enter into exclusive negotiations for development and management of Gary/Chicago International Airport,” said Steven R. Forrer, Executive Vice President, Aviation Facilities Company Inc. /AvPORTS. “We look forward to concluding negotiations quickly so that we can get to work.”

In addition to Hightman, Ad Hoc Committee members include:

• Marion Johnson – Pastor Mt. Moriah Baptist Church

• Bo Kemp – Managing Director, J Gari and Associates, Advisor to Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson

• Harley Snyder – Chief Executive Officer, HSC, Inc., Board Member of the Regional Development Authority

• James Cooper – Board Member, Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority

• Shontrai Irving – Board Member, Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority

Advising the Committee in the evaluation of proposals is Michael Zonsius, Chief Financial Officer of the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Tasked by the Airport Authority in February to explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region, the Ad Hoc Committee is pursuing a P3 model that retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital. In addition to the P3 exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166 million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 continues.

The Gary/Chicago International Airport is less than 30 minutes from the heart of the tri-state region – Chicago. The airport is directly connected to Chicago's transportation network through freight, interstate and mass-transit and has close proximity to multiple Lake Michigan ports.Source: Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority

Story Continues Below