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Editorial: City to be flying high if it lands state police aircraft

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The Indiana State Police is considering moving some of its aircraft to the Greenwood Municipal Airport.

The state police currently store one plane and three helicopters at Indianapolis International Airport and one plane in Angola. State police use the aircraft to search for missing people and possible criminals and occasionally for marijuana fields hidden on farmland.

Moving the four aircraft from where they’re stored at the Indianapolis airport would save the state police money and benefit another city’s airport by bringing a stable, long-term tenant, state police spokesman Dave Bursten said.

He said Greenwood’s airport is a possibility as a new location because it is in central Indiana and charges less in hangar rent than the large Indianapolis airport. The agency wants to continue keeping the aircraft in central Indiana, he said.

The state hasn’t set a timeline for when it will move the plane and helicopters from the Indianapolis airport. The cost of hangar rent is a main consideration when officials look at possible new locations, including Greenwood, Bursten said.

“We’re looking to find the best option possible, and we’re willing to take the time to research it,” he said.

The standard monthly rent for a new, 3,600-square-foot corporate hangar at the Greenwood Municipal Airport is $1,440 per month, plus utilities, airport manager Rusty Nichols said.

Moving the aircraft to Greenwood would be a win for both the city and the state police. First, it would save taxpayers money through the lower hangar rent.

For the state police, it would increase the utility of flights. Pilots would be able to take off and land more easily than at the busy Indianapolis airport. Also, Greenwood’s airport is easy to reach on the ground, being just off Interstate 65 at County Line Road.

We urge the Indiana State Police to choose Greenwood as the new home for this portion of its air fleet. It makes both financial and logistical sense.

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