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. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

ADVERTISEMENT