April 29, 2024

Purdue plans groundbreaking for Earhart Terminal, inaugural flight of commercial air service

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will hold a groundbreaking for its new Amelia Earhart Terminal and celebrate the return of commercial flight to Purdue University Airport and Greater Lafayette with a ceremonial first flight on May 14.

Purdue and Surf Air Mobility Inc. (NYSE: SRFM) agreed last December to begin scheduled commuter air service between West Lafayette/Purdue University Airport (LAF) and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Service begins May 15, marking the return of commercial air service for the first time since 2004 to LAF, Indiana’s second-busiest airport in terms of total annual aircraft operations and home to Purdue’s renowned School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.

bot2401-airportterm-render Conceptual rendering of the new Amelia Earhart Terminal at Purdue University Airport. (Rendering provided) Download image

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Amelia Earhart Terminal will be held May 14 at Purdue University Airport, featuring remarks by Purdue President Mung Chiang. At the conclusion of the groundbreaking, officials from Purdue, Southern Airways and the community will take off on a ceremonial first flight.

Construction on the new, $11.8 million, approximately 9,400-square-foot terminal building will commence in May, with completion expected in August 2025. Planned to be located directly west of the existing airport terminal, the Amelia Earhart Terminal will include ticketing, passenger screening, baggage claim and a waiting area to comply with Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration requirements. The terminal will be located in the heart of the Purdue Aerospace District, home to industry partners such as Saab and Rolls-Royce.

As the local connection to the world, round-trip flights from West Lafayette (LAF) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) can provide access to over 240 connecting destinations. Travelers from West Lafayette should consider LAF their first option when booking flights, as numerous time and cost savings and conveniences are available, including:

  • Shorter security lines and less time in the airport.
  • Ability to walk gate to gate in ORD without going through security.
  • Flight time under an hour compared to a multihour drive to ORD.
  • Bus fare or gas savings.
  • Cheaper parking rates than other airports in the region.
  • Interline partnership and seamless connections via American, United, Alaska and Hawaiian airlines.

Information about booking flights can be found at https://www.purdue.edu/airport/flight/.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap — including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes — at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives.

Media contact: Tim Doty, doty2@purdue.edu

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