Issue Call To Action For Upcoming Hearings With IN DNR
The Indiana Seaplane Pilots
Association (ISPA) has issued a call to action in support of a
proposal to increase public access to Indiana lakes for
After 10 years of a pilot program designed to show the
feasibility and compatibility of opening more Indiana lakes to
seaplane traffic, the Indiana Departments of Natural Resources
(INDNR) and Transportation (INDOT) have scheduled two public
meetings to solicit public comment on a new proposal to loosen
restrictions ever so slightly.
Since 1998, ISPA has worked with the state to establish a
network of 17 Indiana lakes with private-use seaplane landing
areas. INDNR's new proposal would grant public-use status to five
of those lakes.
"We have worked hard to demonstrate that seaplanes can safely
and effectively share Indiana's waters," said Randy Strebig,
president of ISPA. "Indiana lags far behind states like Illinois,
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in access for seaplanes to
Those states have literally thousands of public-use landing
sites for seaplanes. In Indiana -- where the law is "no landings
except on lakes with designated seaplane bases" -- there are only
four lakes with designated public-use landing areas.
Four lakes out of over 700, the group adds. In the long run,
ISPA is hopeful that even more lakes can be opened to seaplane
operations, but this move is a small step in the right
Nevertheless, ISPA representatives are cautious about the
prospects. "Any time a public policy is up for review, there is
potential for bad changes to be made," said Strebig. "We need as
large a showing of support as possible."
ISPA is asking seaplane supporters across the nation to send
letters and e-mails of support for the change to INDNR and INDOT.
In addition, ISPA urges all supporters in and around northeastern
Indiana to attend the hearings and make their voices heard.
ISPA has posted a sample letter of support on its website, and
also has set up an online petition (both FMI links below). The
first meeting will be held at the Potawatomi Inn in Angola, IN on
February 3; the second, February 4 at the Indiana State Department
of Natural Resources District 2 Conservation Officers HQ in