Indianapolis Airport Authority requests FAA close Downtown Heliport

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In a board memo, the Indianapolis Airport Authority has submitted a request to the Federal Aviation Administration to close the Indianapolis Downtown heliport as an aviation facility.

A memorandum of understanding between the IAA and the city states the IAA determined the financial burden of continued operation of the heliport outweighs the public value.

An airport spokesperson said the heliport sits on a little less than 5 acres. FAA records say the heliport was activated in December 1978.

An airport spokesperson told News 8 after the heliport is taken out of aviation use, the land it sits on will be put up for sale so it can go back to the community. The IAA says that sale, in turn, will help create jobs in the Indy metropolitan area and boost economic development.

In a statement, the airport authority told News 8:

The MOU formalizes the IAA’s commitment to work with the City of Indianapolis to determine a redevelopment strategy for the Heliport site. That redevelopment will promote physical revitalization of the site and financial reinvestment into the downtown area surrounding the Heliport — and that aligns with IAA’s commitment to restoring land no longer required for aviation use to the community for economic growth and job creation.

Bill Stinson, IAA Sr. Director of Public Affairs

According to an IAA spokesperson, “The IAA’s brought the resolution to request for approval from the FAA to cease aviation operations at the Heliport in mid 2020. The IAA then began the process to secure that approval from the FAA in December 2020 — and that is currently in progress.”

The spokesperson added that since 2016, the IAA has returned nearly 3,000 acres of land to local communities and generated more than $48 million in land sales.

The city is working closely with the IAA on this. In a statement, they said:

“The Department of Metropolitan Development and the Indianapolis Airport Authority are working collaboratively on the redevelopment of the heliport site, building on current Market East momentum. We are committed to working together to determine its highest and best use.”

IU Health is the last tenant of the heliport. A spokesperson told News 8 that LifeLine has done thousands of rides and calls with their aircraft out of the downtown heliport for years. As for when they’ll move out and where to, that’s still being worked through. A memo says the IAA is actively assisting that tenant in relocation efforts.

Here are links and more information provided to News 8 by the IAA: