Terre Haute Regional Airport
|Owner||Terre Haute Regional Airport Authority|
|Serves||Terre Haute, Indiana|
|Elevation AMSL||589 ft / 180 m|
Location of Vigo County in Indiana
Location of airport in Vigo County
Terre Haute Regional Airport (IATA: HUF, ICAO: KHUF, FAA LID: HUF) is a civil-military public airport in Terre Haute, in Vigo County, Indiana, six miles (9.7 km) east of the city center. The FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a general aviation facility. It is also the location of Hulman Field Air National Guard Base of the Indiana Air National Guard.
Originally called Hulman Field, the airport dates to 1943 when ground was broken on a 638-acre (2.58 km2) site donated to the city of Terre Haute by businessman Anton "Tony" Hulman, Jr. The airport was dedicated on October 3, 1944, and had three runways, taxiways, apron area, and a terminal building. In 1953, a new terminal and control tower were completed and the apron expanded. Since 1954, the 181st Intelligence Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard has been stationed at the airport.
In 1976 the city of Terre Haute and Vigo County jointly formed an authority to manage the airport. The Terre Haute Regional Airport Authority has six board members, with three appointed by the mayor of Terre Haute and three appointed by the Vigo County commissioners. The terminal was expanded in 1977 and 1981. In 1998 the name was changed from Hulman Regional Airport to Terre Haute International Airport - Hulman Field, primarily due to U.S. Postal Service contractor Evergreen Airlines using the airport as a hub, which has since closed.
Hulman Field used to host the Terre Haute Air Fair. Performers included the USAF Thunderbirds, the Red Baron Pizza Squadron, and Michael Hunter, the world's only insulin-dependent aerobatics pilot. The Air Fair was run almost entirely by volunteers including some from community organizations and school organizations looking for fundraising opportunities.
In 2016, the airport received a $3.5 million federal grant to fund repairs to a runway. The airport was the third busiest airport in the state of Indiana in 2016.
In 2017, work began on a $1.1 million project to upgrade the exterior of a terminal building at the airport. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 included a $24 million federal grant for a military construction project at the airport that will support the operations of the Indiana National Guard's 181st Intelligence Wing.
In summer 2018, the United States Navy's flight exhibition team, the Blue Angels, performed at Terre Haute Regional Airport. The airshow attracted more than 55,000 people over the course of the weekend and was a major success for the airport.
There is no scheduled commercial service at Terre Haute Regional Airport. Trans World Airlines stopped at Terre Haute from 1944 to 1967, and Lake Central Airlines from 1954 (when it replaced Delta-C&S) until its merger with Allegheny Airlines. Britt Airways took over from Allegheny in 1973, and it operated there until the late 1980s. Britt was based in Terre Haute until its sale in 1985. Great Lakes Aviation operated flights for United Express between Terre Haute and Chicago between 1995 and 1999.
Branson Air Express announced service in February 2010, but the airline later cancelled those plans, citing weak demand.
The airport is home to the 181st Intelligence Wing (181 IW) of the Indiana Air National Guard. The ANG enclave is called Hulman Field Air National Guard Base. The 181 IW is operationally gained by the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA).
The unit served in World War II, flying anti-submarine patrol along the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. It was also activated for the Korean War and the Berlin Crisis of 1961. In 1962 it was established as a fighter unit, the 181st Tactical Fighter Group (181 TFG), operationally-gained by the Tactical Air Command (TAC). Initially using the RF-84F Thunderstreak, the unit transitioned to the F-84F Thunderstreak in 1964, the F-100D/F Super Sabre in 1971, the F-4 Phantom II in 1979, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon in 1991. Known as the Racers, the then-181 TFG participated in the first Gulf War from 1990 to 1991. With the disestablishment of TAC in 1992, the unit was redesignated the 181st Fighter Group (181 FG) and operationally-gained by the Air Combat Command (ACC). In 1995, it was redesignated as the 181st Fighter Wing (181 FW) and deployed to Kuwait on two separate occasions in support of Operation Southern Watch.
On September 11, 2001, the 181 FW flew combat air patrols over the Midwestern United States less than four hours after the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. The wing drastically increased its operations tempo, deployed members and equipment to 19 countries, and simultaneously supported seven different military operations, including Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Joint Forge, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Deep Freeze, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2005, concurrent with an Air Force initiative to phase out F-16C/D aircraft Block 30 and older, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) mandated the end of flying operations for the 181 FW. On September 8, 2007, the wing's F-16C Block 30s flew their last training mission out of Terre Haute Regional Airport/Hulman Field Air National Guard Base. The wing's squadrons were redesignated as a Distributive Ground Station (DGS) and an Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) and on May 3, 2008, the 181st Fighter Wing was re-designated as the 181st Intelligence Wing (181 IW).
The airport covers 1,475 acres (597 ha) and has two runways:
Indiana State University uses Hulman Field for its aviation program. The USAF uses Hulman Field for worldwide command and control of remote control surveillance aircraft. Hulman Field can also support the F-16 and larger military aircraft on an "as needed" basis.