Economic Health of Montgomery County has been a key program item for the League of Women Voters for the past 10 years. The League's Economic Health Committee presented to members at a recent meeting held at Ivy Tech updates on many economic areas the LWV has been following. Chris White and Barbara Easterling provided information about the Crawfordsville Airport and its vital importance to our county. Copies of "Crawfordsville Airport Facts 2013" were distributed.

The airport is a gateway "it's a door through which many county visitors enter ." Representatives from more than 30 companies, schools, organizations use the Crawfordsville Airport as well as 33 local aircraft owners.

The airport is a business, generating income that provides a large portion of total funding. In 2012, the airport generated 85 percent ($280,512 )of its total funding while the city provided 15 percent ($49,339).

The airport is an important feature of Crawfordsville. It was established in 1944 on a 151-acre farm four miles south of Crawfordsville. With purchase of additional land and airway rights, holdings have been increased to 275 acres. The location is convenient near Crawfordsville businesses and other regional activities, and has "received acclaim in the aviation community for its excellent facilities and friendly staffing."

The airport is well-equipped with 4,500' asphalt lighted runway plus additional 300' overrun, parallel taxiway, large parking area, 24 hour aircraft refueling area, weather information system provided 24 hours per day, 24-hour security, perimeter security fencing, and more.

The airport provides a major economic boost to the community. A study released in fall, 2012, conducted by Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), Aviation Association of Indiana (AAI) and Conexus Indiana, reported that the Crawfordsville airport has total economic impact of $80 million annually. 255 jobs are supported by the airport with $13 million annually total payroll. Of the 32 local airports in Indiana, Crawfordsville ranked 7th highest in economic impact! In addition, $3,140,000 in grants have been generated by airport in the past six years.

The airport has substantial structures, is constantly improving and is well-managed. Red Top Aviation manages, maintains and operates the Crawfordsville Airport. The Board of Aviation Commissioners (BOAC) oversees all airport operations and maintains a rolling five-year plan of maintenance and improvements.

Members of the BOAC are appointed to four year terms by the Mayor of Crawfordsville. Current members are: Chuck Fiedler, President; Steve Rasmussen, Vice President; Russ Stath, Secretary; Myra Dunn Abbott, Treasurer and Mark Baker, Member.

"The Crawfordsville Municipal Airport gives our community a competitive advantage.

• A modern attractive airport is a feature required to attract new businesses.

• It encourages businesses considering expansion.

• It helps local businesses to be more efficient and successful.

• It facilitates visitors to events at Wabash College and sporting events such as the ATV Ironman.

• It makes our community more attractive and provides a source of civic pride.

• It provides a staging area for regional emergencies (as demonstrated in recent exercises.)

• It makes Crawfordsville stand out over communities that don't have a modern, attractive airport."

Crawfordsville and Montgomery County are indeed fortunate to have had visionary leaders back in 1944 and those who have continued to develop and improve this valuable community asset. For further information contact Bill Cramer, Airport Manager 362-0707 or Myra Dunn, Airport Board Treasurer 866-1212.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, multi-issue political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.