Can Indiana Be Midwest Hub for International Flight?
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, encouraged by the performance of the state’s first transatlantic flight, which he says is "exceeding expectations," thinks Indiana can become "the Midwest hub for international flight." His $1 billion Next Level Connections infrastructure plan, unveiled last week, includes $20 million to target more international nonstops in North America and Europe. In May, Delta Airlines launched an Indianapolis to Paris nonstop flight, which is among a record 50-plus nonstops now offered at Indianapolis International Airport.
In an interview this weekend on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Holcomb talked in greater detail about the infrastructure plan, which he says will enhance quality of life statewide.
Holcomb said the infrastructure plan’s broad nature, encompassing what he calls six modes of transportation, is important and will help attract talent and improve quality of life. It will be funded by fee increases on heavy trucks on the Indiana Toll Road.
The plan includes:
- $600 million to accelerate completion of Section 6 of the Interstate 69 project between Martinsville and Bloomington, from 2027 to 2024
- $190 million for improvements on U.S. 20 and U.S 30 across northern Indiana and U.S. 31 between Indianapolis and South Bend
- $100 million to increase rural broadband access
- 90 million for improving biking and hiking trails
- $20 million to lure new direct flight routes to the state’s airports
The plan also calls for support of the West Lake and South Shore rail projects in northwest Indiana and pursuit of the state’s fourth water port, along the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg.
"This is an all-of-the-above, ambitious program," said Holcomb. "This is about investing in our Indiana people and places and that goes right to improving our quality of life right here in Indiana."