IBJNews

Pilots unhappy over airport changes in Greenwood

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

New restrictions on hangar use and rising repair costs are forcing some Indiana pilots to fly the coop from the Greenwood Municipal Airport.

Pilots say they're upset by changes since new management took over and have begun go to Shelbyville and other airports to buy fuel. Some are even considering moving their planes.

The dissatisfaction comes as the airport has been struggling because both recreational pilots and business travelers have been cutting back on flying. Airport revenue is expected to fall short of the $300,000 it costs to run the facility next year, so the board overseeing the facility plans to raise rates.

"There's a lot of discontent with the way things have been going," pilot Brett Striegel told the Daily Journal in Franklin.

Jim Norsick, a member of the Greenwood Pilots Association, said the social club disbanded after more than 30 years after members were discouraged from meeting in the terminal.

Pilots also are unhappy about a proposed hangar lease contract that would prevent them from hiring their own mechanics, from storing enough oil in their hangars to do oil changes and from using enough electricity to warm up a twin-engine plane. The changes would make it difficult for pilots to do routine maintenance themselves, they say.

Jeff Colvin, president of the Greenwood Board of Aviation Commissioners, said the city wants to turn the airport into a business hub but isn't trying to alienate plane owners who are based there.

"Some of it is just resistance to change, which is normal and always happens," he said. "But that being said, we're listening to all concerns and doing our best to deal with them."

Colvin said the new manager, Indy Jet Center, plans to put mechanics in Greenwood when the economy improves and air traffic picks up. But right now the company sends mechanics down from the Eagle Creek Airpark in northwest Indianapolis.

Striegel, one of the disgruntled pilots, said he's so unhappy with the changes that he's looking at other places to house it, including the Bloomington airport.

Eagle Creek Aviation runs the 230-acre airport, but Greenwood owns and maintains it.

The city can raise property taxes to support the airport but instead relies on hangar rent and other user fees to maintain the airport. Any money the airport generates pays for its operations or goes into savings for future airport expenses, Greenwood Clerk-Treasurer Jeannine Myers said.

Colvin said the aviation board has to update the leases in part because of new Federal Aviation Administration restrictions stemming from a case in Texas in which a recreational pilot flew into a federal building. Other new regulations have tried to crack down on renters who have been storing all-terrain vehicles or running businesses out of their hangars.

Colvin said the board has had regular meetings with the pilots to address their concerns.

"We listen to them and we appreciate them," he said. "We want to fix this situation."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

ADVERTISEMENT