As air traffic increased after World War II, additional airports were needed to divert small aircraft from Weir Cook Airport (Indianapolis International Airport), and such sites could not be found within the city limits. Therefore, the Indiana General Assembly created the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) in 1962 to administer an air transportation system with jurisdiction over Marion County and the seven surrounding counties. 

Indianapolis Airport Authority Board Members, 1962
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

Despite initial problems in establishing the satellite airports, by the early 1990s, the IAA owned and managed the Indianapolis International Airport, Eagle Creek Airpark, the downtown Heliport, and the Metropolitan, Mount Comfort (later renamed Indianapolis Regional), and Speedway airports. The Speedway Airport closed December 31, 2001, and the IAA had taken ownership of the Hendricks County Airport.

The Board of Aviation Commissioners’ private management of the Indianapolis International Airport ended December 31, 2007. Control reverted to IAA a five-member board, four of whom were appointed by the mayor and one by the county commissioners. The volunteer board met bi-monthly and served four-year terms.

Fred W. Sommer (left), vice president of the Indianapolis Airport Authority inspects final plans for the new six-story administration building at Weir Cook Municipal Airport, ca. 1960s.
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

In addition to its policy and management functions, the IAA set its own budget, which was reviewed annually by the City-County Council. The IAA had taxing authority but issued bonds only for large capital improvements. Revenue for operating expenses came from federal airport funds, user fees, and service contracts.

The IAA is governed by a board of nine voting members appointed by the mayor of Indianapolis and officials from Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, and Hendricks counties. The IAA owns, develops, and operates six airports in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

Revised July 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.