Imagine you’re piloting a plane to the Greenwood Municipal Airport for the first time and you come out of a cloud directly in front of a huge water tower.
You’re flying at more than 100 mph, and the tower is suddenly in your path. You’ve got seconds to get out of its way.
Pilots who come into Greenwood for the first time have the same reaction, airport manager Ralph Hill said. They all say, “Wow, I can’t believe it’s so close.”
The city is hoping that pilots will feel more comfortable landing in Greenwood after it tears down the water tower at the Valle Vista Golf Club and Conference Center. The tower is about a mile from the airport’s runway.
The city has reached an agreement with Indiana American Water Co. to tear the landmark tower down and plans to demolish it during the golf course’s slow season this fall, Mayor Mark Myers said. The project is one of many aimed at improving the city-run airport at County Line Road and Emerson Avenue. A $1.1 million federal project will lengthen the runway to more than 5,000 feet this fall, six plane owners are interested in building private hangars and two mechanics want to expand their buildings.
Greenwood is pursuing the projects in the hope of boosting traffic to the airport, exposing the city to more jet-setting corporate executives and bringing in more money from fuel sales and hangar rentals. The airport has been working to improve its finances, and is making about $10,000 more than it’s spending on fuel sales so far this year, controller Adam Stone said.