Bill addresses abandoned, derelict planes at airports

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Non-functioning planes that are stored in an airport hangar are the subject of a bill being considered by the Indiana General Assembly.

As a result, the topic was discussed by the Dubois County Airport Authority Monday evening. The authority supports the measure, noting that it has at least one plane that takes space in one of its hangars.

House Bill 1330 distinguishes between an abandoned plane and a derelict plane, which is one that is being worked on, board member Mike Cummings said. The bill would also give airports a clear method for removing a plane that is not operational, he said.

The Indiana House of Representatives’ Roads and Transportation Committee was set to hold a hearing on the bill today in Indianapolis.

For a bill to become law, it must pass a committee in the House and Senate chamber and then both chambers. Once that is done, it goes to the governor, who must sign it into law. If House Bill 1330 becomes law, it will go into effect July 1.

Authority members said Monday that the airport has at least one plane that is not functioning and will likely never fly. But the plane’s owner, who no one named, is renting hangar space.

“The fuel is where we make a lot of our money,” said Authority President Jim Hunsicker, “the fuel and repairs.”

As a public airport, the Huntingburg Airport is required by law to generate as much revenue as it can, said Curtis Brown of Indianapolis engineering firm Woolpert Inc.

Authority Attorney Phil Schneider said the airport could have some authority for removing non-functioning planes from its hangars, based on how the lease for the hangar rental is written. Hunsicker, Cummings and authority member Bob Johnson will work with Schneider and Airport Manager Travis McQueen to review the leases to see if the wording needs to be changed or updated.

 

The authority also:

• Approved a new lease with Kimball International on the hangar the company uses at the airport. The five-year lease will be for $44,100 per year, and has an option for Kimball to renew the contract three times.




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