BROOKVILLE – Over 50 people attended the Aug. 12 Franklin County Commissioners meeting to learn what the plans are for the Batesville Airport and Three Mile Road.
The airport, located at 25222 Enochsburg Road, Batesville, is owned and operated by Batesville Aviation Services. The former Hill-Rom Holdings and Hillenbrand Inc. airport was purchased by the company in December 2012. Owner Charles “Shorty” Whittington, Elizabethtown, said, “We want everyone to know we want to use the current assets ... to promote the economy and jobs.”
Mitch Thielking, Oldenburg, who has a family farm close to Three Mile Road, had concerns about its possible closure because it’s a route many residents take. He also expressed concern about the air space.
Dan Meyer, who lives on the southwest side of the airport, noted, “It’s the wall (at the south end of the runway) you put by the road that’s a liability.” He pointed out the importance of keeping it open: “Farmers come down it, and it is used if other roads are flooded.
“We do know you’re going to sell fuel there and fix planes ... (and) now you don’t have to pay sales tax on the fuel. What’s the benefit for the county? .... You’ve got to work with us. I’ve never tried to stop your business. I just want you to stay within your fences. Let’s work together.”
Some of the concerns were addressed by Ken Nobbe, Batesville Aviation Services managing member. Regarding the wall on Three Mile Road, he remarked, “We made sure everything was in line prior to doing anything.”
During a June 24 commissioners’ meeting, “I said we would like to utilize the west side of the airport. If we did that, one of the options would be to possibly close the road. A second option was to put gates across it and a third was to relocate the road.