BATESVILLE — The Batesville Airport is now fully open to the public due to the efforts of a Columbus native.

Batesville Aviation Services owner John Whittington, who co-owns the business with his father, Shorty, announced late last month that the Batesville Airport and all of its facilities have officially transitioned from private use to public use.

The airport has always offered services such as fuel, hangar rental, catering and customer service, said Whittington, a Columbus native.

However, those services will now become available to all potential customers, not just those approved to use the airport when it was a private facility, he said.

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“A public use airport is much more accessible to the general aviation industry,” Whittington said. “It puts us on the public aviation charts and allows easier access to our runway approach system.”

Batesville Aviation Services has been working to transition the airport away from private use since 2012, when the Whittingtons first sought the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The airport had to be evaluated and verified on several measures, including runway safety, environmental compliance and community need, Whittington said.

“The process is a very challenging one, as it should be,” he said. “Airport safety and the location of airports in our community should be looked at seriously.”

Planes ranging in size from small ultra-lite aircraft to mid-sized corporate jets may use the airport.

The extra exposure the fixed base operator will receive by being a public use facility will likely cause an increase in the airport’s overall fuel sales and landing numbers, Whittington said. His goal is to meet the need for a public airport in the eastern part of the state.

“The economic impact this can have on the Franklin County and the Batesville community is endless,” said Bill Schirmer, Franklin County economic president, who gave a statement through Whittington.

The Batesville Airport is located off of Interstate 74 between Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

About the Batesville Airport

Batesville Aviation Services

Location: 25222 Enochsburg Road, Batesville

Owners: Shorty and John Whittington

Airport hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; weekend services available for a fee

Airport services: Fuel, hangar rental, catering, customer service for travel needs

Aircraft: Supports ultra-lite planes up to mid-sized commercial jets

For more information: Call 812-934-7593 or email fbo@batesvilleaviation.com

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.