Today, Jasper County Airport Authority closed on a land parcel adjoining the airport to the west, previously owned by the Eldridge family. Because the northern 47 acres will be used for airspace protection for the current grass runway in addition to future development of the east/west paved runway, that portion qualifies for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) grant funding, which will cover 95% of the acquisition. Since the sellers were not interested in just selling the northern portion that is needed by the airport, we settled on a compromise. The airport would buy the northern grant eligible 47 acres outright and finance the remaining 32acres over a three year term with a seller-financed mortgage. The remaining 32 acres could be sold or developed in the long term, but will be added to the airport’s cash farm, generating income in the meantime.

While the timing of this acquisition is less than optimal, this deal has been in the works since the end of 2019. Since the airport was asking for grant funding, specific steps had to be followed, which took time and that’s why it took close to 8 months to finalize and close the deal. The airport had a willing seller and the acquisition qualified for grant funding to where the airport’s share after all grants received would be around $30-35k.

Between the Phegley lot acquired last year and the Eldridge lot acquired this year, here is a breakdown of the grant funding received as well as funding that will be received between now and 2024:

Grant Funding

  • Already received Federal/State Phegley – $475k
  • Grant funding coming in 2020 (remainder of Phegley and 1st year of Eldridge) – $167k
  • Grant funding through 2024 totaling (Eldridge remainder) – $582k.

There also future potential for additional portion of Phegley following an updated Airport Layout Plan (scheduled for 2021)   $357k

Runway project once approved will likely be $10M+, 95% of which will come from federal and state grant funding!

Jasper County will reap 100% of the rewards including:

  1. Increased revenue for the airport, reducing airport’s dependence on public assistance
  2. Increased traffic causing ripple effect benefiting local shops, restaurants, and hotels
  3. Increased access to the community allowing current businesses to operate more efficiently while attracting new businesses to the community
    1. Business aircraft users outperform non-users by 23% in revenue growth*
    2. A single business aircraft can bring an airport and the community $2.5M economic benefit*
    3. Business aviation benefits include employee time savings, improved productivity, improved customer service, strategic transaction acceleration, and protecting intellectual property.*
    4. 42% of business aircraft are flown to towns with little or no commercial air service.*
    5. 80% of business aircraft are flown into airports in small towns and communities.*