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Airport clips wings on international travel by employees

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Trips to overseas destinations are conspicuously missing from a proposed travel schedule for Indianapolis Airport Authority employees for the remainder of this year.

Three trips proposed to conferences in Canada are the extent of foreign travel among the 79 proposed trips, according to a schedule set for consideration by the authority board on Friday.

IBJ reported March 10 that former IAA CEO John Clark and two top executives last year spent more than $67,000 on trips to conferences and business development destinations including Brazil, Denmark, Greece, Morocco and Switzerland.

The airport board’s new president, Mike Wells, said such trips raised concerns. After taking the post in December, Wells said he wanted to review all proposed travel before trips were taken.

The authority’s employees appear to have gotten the message.

“In aligning anticipated travel to current objectives, the listing was adjusted to 79 travel considerations from over 100,” states a memo by Robert Duncan, interim executive director of the airport, accompanying the list of proposed trips Wells will review.

Duncan, who had recently retired, was called back to take over for Clark, whose employment contract was not extended after it recently expired. 

Many of the trips on the airport’s proposed travel list involve conferences, professional training and pitches to potential new airport tenants. 

Among them are trips planned to talk with executives of Nippon Cargo Airlines in Chicago and airline Cathay Pacific in Los Angeles.

Airport officials are trying to land more passenger flights as well as grow air cargo. They’ve been successful in landing additional service by Cargolux, which flies to Indianapolis directly from Europe, and additional nonstop FedEx cargo flights from overseas. 

European aircraft refurbishment firm Comlux Aviation has been growing its operations in Indianapolis, as well.

The commercial passenger market has been difficult to grow, however. Carriers have been slashing the number of flights to max out aircraft utilization.

High fuel prices have also caused carriers to axe a number of nonstop flights to non-hub destinations that had been flown by regional jets that carry fewer passengers.

Also on Friday, the board is to consider a building lease as part of a previously announced 11.5-megawatt solar farm on 60 acres near the airport entrance.

ET Solutions, a joint venture that includes locally based Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telamon Corp., expects to be operating the solar farm by year’s end.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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