Whenever local officials try to close or move airports without consulting aviation officials or airport users, the results are troubling. It's particularly complicated in Fishers, Indiana, where the town wants to close its 500-acre Indianapolis Downtown Airport. It's actually owned and operated by the Indianapolis Airport Authority, but the town would rather see tax revenues stemming from home construction. The authority said it would consider moving the airport if Fishers found a site. After the first one was rejected, Fishers teamed up with the town of Anderson in an odd two-for-one deal: Both towns would close their airports and build one new airport. But the new proposed airport wouldn't support the total aircraft population, and residents in nearby Lapel aren't exactly excited about it. AOPA has made it clear to the consultant working on the study that the current proposal is unacceptable. All the affected parties, especially the pilots and the FAA, should be given the opportunity to participate in a public process on the potential consolidation.
August 3, 2007