Purdue University Airport in the US state of Indiana has contracted Woolpert, an architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm, to provide architecture and on-call engineering services at the airport.

Under the five-year contract, the company will offer taxiway instalments, fire and rescue upgrades, runway rehabilitation, navigation improvements and additional support.

Certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Part 139 airport, Purdue University Airport is claimed to be the first university-owned airport in the US and the second busiest airport in Indiana.

Woolpert was selected through a competitive selection process.

Purdue University Airport director Adam Baxmeyer said: “All public airports must follow FAA policy when selecting a consultant for federally funded projects. Our selection committee received multiple qualified proposals and ranked Woolpert’s the highest. We’ve worked with Woolpert for the past five years and are looking forward to our continued relationship.”

Woolpert vice-president and aviation market director Chris Snyder said: “There are 1,000 Purdue Polytechnic School of Aviation and Transportation Technology students who attend classes daily at the airport. A second Part 141 certified flight school, which is operated by Purdue Aviation (the airport’s fixed-base operator), provides thousands of hours of flight instruction annually to hundreds of additional students. Thousands of instructional flights are conducted by each of these schools every week.

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“Purdue is a very innovative organisation. They thrive on using the latest technologies like unmanned aircraft systems and mobile mapping to solve problems, and they have forged partnerships around the world. Their pursuit and understanding of the latest aviation technologies is one of the reasons Purdue Polytechnic’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology is among the top-ranked flight programmes in the world.”

The planned safety improvements are expected to result in easy flow of traffic at the public airport.

The airport has commercial charter, corporate and cargo flights that support the aviation requirements of Tippecanoe County.