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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. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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