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Clark County Regional Airport operator eyes improvements
February 11, 2011
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  • By Braden Lammers

    January 29, 2011

    CLARK COUNTY – Although the focus of the Clark County Board of Aviation Commissioners meeting Wednesday focused on proposed legislation relating to the creation of a regional airport authority, another bill may also have a significant impact.

    Sate Sen. Ron Grooms, (R) Jeffersonville, also presented to the board Senate Bill 222, which would provide tax credits to improvements made at an airport.

    “Now you possibly have two pieces of legislation this year that could really jump start this airport,” he said.

    The proposal exempts taxpayers who are making improvements to real property located in Indiana that are related to a logistical distribution facility [or] improving the transportation of goods by highway, rail, water or air, according to the bill.

    If the proposed legislation passes it would become effective Jan. 1, 2012.

    The plan may have an immediate influence over a construction project being considered at the Clark County Regional Airport.

    JVY LLC is looking to finance the construction of a new hangar that could house up to nine airplanes.

    The hangar would take up four tracts of property, a total of 1.17 acres, and would be more than 26,000 square feet. The new structure would be the biggest building on the airfield and it would be leased by Honaker Aviation.

    “Honaker will own the facility and will lease to whoever they can find,” said Alan Applegate, attorney representing the financing agent for the proposed construction.

    The Bardstown, Ky.-based Honaker took over as the fixed-based operator at the Clark County Regional Airport in 2009, for Haps Aerial Enterprises, and assumed Haps’ existing lease.

    Honaker pays $27,000 per year in lease payments to the airport and by expanding the hangar space, it has proposed adding nearly $2,400 to its annual payment – through a calculation derived from its current leased acreage and rate.

    “We’re ready to move now,” said Shawn Honaker, company president.

    He told the board at Wednesday’s meeting the company would be ready to break ground on the project in two to three weeks if the board granted the proposal approval.

    But the time frame was a bit too fast for the air board.

    In order to review the plan and ensure the financing contracts are in order, the group asked Honaker for a more definitive plan to be presented at the board’s next meeting in February.

    “The earliest would be a month from now,” said air board attorney Jack Vissing on how quickly a deal could come together for approval.

    Air board President Ron Barnes said even that timeline would be a quick turnaround.

    “If it would happen 30 days from now that would be pretty amazing,” he said.

    But an undaunted Honaker said he has more expansion plans he’d like to see completed in the future.

    “I hope we’re doing this again in six months,” he said.

    In other business

    • The officers for the Board of Aviation Commissioners were reappointed to their current positions for another year. Ron Barnes will continue to serve as the board’s president, Michael Vissing will serve as vice president and Dan Gregory will serve as secretary.

    Date: 2011-01-29