Indianapolis International Airport gets passenger feedback for concessions refresh project

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- When fueling up before a flight, some passengers stick with their favorite food chains, while others are looking for some local flavor.

"I don't venture to new cuisines too much," said Pat Price, who was passing through the Indianapolis airport from Delaware.

"When you're at a new place, you want to see what they have to offer," said Tim Aldrich, from North Carolina.

Getting that feedback is all part of the airport’s Concessions Refresh Project. It's been 10 years since the new terminal was built, and now more than three dozen existing concession leases will expire in 2018.

Airport officials have been asking passengers what they want to see in the future.

"Through all the surveys we've done, we've had this push for local, so definitely folks want to get a sense of what is authentic to this destination," said Marsha Stone, Senior Director of Commercial Enterprise with the Indianapolis Airport Authority.

The airport's research shows passengers are more mindful of nutrition now too.

"I think we absolutely need to have more healthy options here in the city and here at the airport, said Dusty Simmons, an Indianapolis resident.

Officials say one of biggest changes will be a re-allocation of space to match travelers needs.

"The new program will look to move more of our concessions post security," Stone said.

Right now, officials say more than 40% of the airports retail and restaurants are located before security, while sales data shows more than 70% of dining and shopping takes place post security.

"We're estimating about 30% only will be pre-security after we finish the refresh, and about 70% post security," Stone said.

Stone says passengers will also see more concessions on Concourse B instead of Concourse A, since 63% of the foot traffic goes through Concourse B.

While airport officials can't say what shops or restaurants could be added specifically, they say they’ve thought about doing a market concept, possibility similar to City Market downtown, where local artisans and products are featured in market-type style.

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