Smokers get snub from airport

Smokers will have to keep skulking around Indianapolis International Airport, following a board decision June 21 to stick with its hard-line policy of no puffing anywhere on the premises.

That includes outside the baggage claim and, technically, in the parking lots.

“Almost every airport I go in, they have a designated area where you can smoke,” said Indianapolis Airport Authority board member Steve Dillinger, who supported Executive Director Bob Duncan’s request to create a designated smoking area.

Dillinger was out-voted, 5-3. Most board members agreed with President Mike Wells, who said he didn’t want to do anything to encourage an expensive habit among airport employees.

Airport employees and some passengers have been sneaking around, leaving their telltale butts in dark corners of the airport parking garage, Duncan said. He said the problem is worse now that employees have to park in the former long-term lot and are less likely to walk all the way to their cars.

Duncan wanted to create a smoking area outside baggage claim—on the north side, which is least visible to traffic—for no other reason than to contain the mess.

Dillinger, who is also a Hamilton County commissioner, sympathized with Duncan because he said the county government has fought its own losing battle to keep people from smoking outside buildings.

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