Indianapolis Airport Authority Announces Land Use Initiative to Support Economic Development

Indy Chamber News Archives

IAA will put land back into productive use while creating an estimated annual tax value of $1.7 million


INDIANAPOLIS – A vital catalyst for economic development throughout Indiana, the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) has announced an initiative to fuel the local economy by putting land back onto local tax rolls. The IAA will divest or lease a portion of its 9,000 acres with an estimated value of $83 million while preserving land for future terminal expansion and wildlife habitats. The IAA’s guiding principles and forward-thinking operations have allowed the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) to progress as a world-class airport with longstanding plans for its property. 

“In addition to serving as a welcoming gateway to our city and operating one of the world’s busiest cargo hubs, Indianapolis International Airport serves as a major economic driver in our city,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “Returning land to the tax rolls and opening it for new development will help create jobs and provide new revenue for our schools, libraries and other critical government functions.”

Built upon IAA land-use studies, the initiative will create new opportunities for economic development groups, businesses, and neighbors. Plans for the property include a permanently protected habitat area, set-aside acreage for future airport growth, and the lease or sale of non-aviation land for business operations. The initiative will add to the economic impact of IND, currently more than $4.5 billion annually, while also increasing local tax revenues for communities, schools, and other public services. By putting land back onto local tax rolls and into productive use, the IAA will create an estimated annual tax revenue of $1.7 million, adding to the more than $55 million in state and local tax revenues generated by the airport each year.

“Over the past 30 years, the IAA has strategically worked to create, develop, and manage a world-class facility that serves more than 7 million passengers every year,” said Michael Wells, IAA board president. “With this plan, we hope to further engage and support the local economy as well as create opportunities for growth and development here on the west side of Indianapolis. We also hope to further position ourselves as a community leader by revitalizing neighborhoods and bringing more jobs to the region.”

Having a long-term plan for smart growth and land-use development has been a top priority of the IAA for decades. With a functionally redesigned airport and a new 1.2-million-square-foot Colonel H. Weir Cook Terminal at IND, the IAA has a clear understanding of how best to use airport property. This initiative takes place as the airport reaches the final transitional phase of the new terminal.

Throughout the redevelopment process, the IAA will work with area residents, business owners, community leaders, and municipal officials to optimize development and growth in the area. The IAA also will continue to support its longstanding commitment to sound environmental and sustainability principles by working to integrate its actions with the needs and values of local communities. This plan will help guide the IAA as future development and opportunities for public and private partnerships are explored.

“The IAA is really taking a collaborative approach to this plan, being mindful of the surrounding entities who have a stake in the airport’s daily operations and functioning in a way that is mutually beneficial to all parties,” said Mario Rodriquez, executive director of the IAA. “The businesses, neighborhoods, and people that depend on the airport will benefit from this plan. It’s a win-win for all parties.”

The IAA has worked to develop a collaborative, regional approach to airport-area development through the IND AeroVision Interlocal Cooperation Agreement. Participating entities include:

  •  Indianapolis Airport Authority
  •  City of Indianapolis
  •  Indianapolis City-County Council
  •  Town of Plainfield
  •  Town of Avon
  •  Town of Mooresville
  •  Decatur Township
  •  Wayne Township
  •  Morgan County
  •  Hendricks County

For those interested in learning more about the land available for lease and sale, the IAA will host an open house on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The IAA encourages brokers and developers to attend. 

More information about the IAA’s land-use initiative is available on the airport’s website under the “Information & News” tab.

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, and 2013 in Airports Council International’s annual Airport Service Quality awards. IND is the first airport in the U.S. to win LEED® certification for an entire terminal campus, and the airport 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 135 daily flights to 38 nonstop destinations including seasonal service. 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.

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