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IND planning to transfer more land back to the community

Airport making good on long-standing promise to repurpose non-aviation property

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is the community’s airport and that is the catalyst for the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) to continue to return airport land to the people we serve. Friday, the IAA board is expected to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to eventually transfer a portion of nearly 2,000 acres of conservation land to the town of Plainfield. This follows a similar MOU that was announced last month between the IAA and the Hendricks County Park Board.

“We’re making good on a promise to return land, that we no longer need for aviation use, back to our neighbors,” said Mario Rodriguez, IAA executive director. “This will eventually allow Plainfield and Hendricks County the opportunity to chart their own course for this land and to determine how it fits in with their long-range community planning.”

As part of the MOU, the IAA and the Plainfield town council will meet regularly to collaborate and develop a plan for maintenance and the future use of the land.

“We just want to partner with the Indianapolis Airport Authority, Hendricks County Parks and Recreation and others to make sure that we can plan for the future of this land in a way that benefits everyone and preserves the conservation area,” said Andrew Klinger, Town Manager of Plainfield.

The land includes protected wetland areas that provide critical habitat for the endangered Indiana bat plus many other species of animal and plant life. The land also includes Sodalis Nature Park, which opened in 2011. Sodalis currently offers trails, picnic areas and a 5.5- acre pond for public use. The town of Plainfield will work collaboratively with Hendricks County Parks and the IAA to explore creating an even better opportunity for residents to enjoy this natural environment.

The IAA is creating “One of a KIND” initiatives at IND as one of only a few airports in the nation actively returning airport land, no longer needed for aviation, to the community. The Plainfield MOU is one of several land use initiatives in development at IND. The IAA is putting approximately 3200 total acres of airport land back into productive or recreational use, including selling or leasing some of the land.

About the Indianapolis Airport Authority

The Indianapolis Airport Authority owns and operates Indiana’s largest airport system. In addition to the Indianapolis International Airport, its facilities include the Downtown Heliport, Eagle Creek Airpark, Hendricks County Airport, Indianapolis Regional Airport and Metropolitan Airport. IND has received numerous prestigious awards recognizing it as a leader within its class, including best airport in North America in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 in Airports Council International’s annual Airport Service Quality awards. It has also been inducted into the ACI Director General’s Roll of Excellence, one of the few U.S. airports to be included in this elite group of worldwide airports. IND is the first airport in the U.S. to win LEED® certification for an entire terminal campus. LEED is a green-building award for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. IND has won additional recognition for excellent customer service, concessions programs, and art and architecture.

IND generates an annual economic impact in Central Indiana of more than $4.5 billion without relying on state or local taxes to fund its operations. About 10,000 people work at the airport each day. IND serves more than 7 million business and leisure travelers each year and averages 140 daily flights, seasonally and year-round, to 41 nonstop destinations. Home of the world's second-largest FedEx Express operation and the nation’s eighth-largest cargo facility, IND is committed to becoming the airport system of choice for both passenger and cargo service. For more information, visit IND’s Facebook page at Indianapolis International Airport and Twitter page at @INDairport.