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Honoring Robert Duncan

Rep. Todd Rokita

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a true model Hoosier and American upon his retirement.

For nearly 40 years, Mr. Robert Duncan has been the backbone of aviation law in Indiana. As a leader in the aviation community, Mr. Duncan has helped author, advocated for and implemented the most innovative aviation policy in the country for the State of Indiana and the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA). Mr. Duncan has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Indianapolis Airport, and ultimately, central Indiana and the country. The special attention Mr. Duncan has paid to successfully balancing the growth of our Indiana's main International Airport, with the protection of the rights of private citizens a high priority, is a model for economic growth and personal freedom in any industry. His efforts are a part of Indiana's Comeback story.

More specifically, Mr. Duncan was the lead negotiator on all central Indiana aviation-related land acquisition during his years of service to Indiana. Notably, the expansion of the airport, as well as land acquisitions for the smaller community airports nearby, has enabled the growth that the IAA has contributed to the Hoosier state. In addition, Mr. Duncan was directly responsible for the placement of a United States Postal Service hub with the IAA. With the establishment of this hub, it laid the groundwork that would attract other private sector package carriers and logistics companies that now operate in Indianapolis and nearby communities. The economic impact these expansions have had is immeasurable. I see the fruits of Bob's efforts everyday in West Central Indiana.

With a long list of accolades for his years of leadership, Mr. Duncan has been named the Indiana Aviation Man of the Year, as well as receiving a Special Recognition Award from the Aviation Association of Indiana. Throughout his career, Mr. Duncan has made it a habit to assist other airports with legal matters, at no cost, aiding growth and demonstrating the dedication and passion he has with the aviation community throughout the state, to the benefit of all Hoosiers and travelers to and from our state.

Mr. Duncan also routinely volunteers his time for charitable efforts, both in aviation and in his local community. From his efforts with the Brownsburg Public Library to his coaching of basketball and softball, Mr. Duncan has the heart of a true public servant. Additionally, Mr. Duncan has routinely flown charitable Angel Flights throughout the country, to aide those in need of transportation for medical treatment without the means to travel. I am particularly familiar with this type of program, and Bob and I have piloted several Angel Flights together.

As a graduate of Hanover College and Indiana University's School of Law, Bob contributes back to the education of others interested in aviation and aviation law. Bob is a supervising private flight instructor, as well as an adjunct professor in aviation law at Indiana University's School of Law, Indianapolis.

Hoosiers especially, and Americans, are lucky to have benefited from the years of dedicated service in planning and abundant expertise provided by Mr. Duncan for nearly four decades. His volunteerism is an added classic Hoosier trait. Bob has exemplified the essence of Hoosier values with his commonsense leadership and dedication to the betterment of our great state. For his efforts and ethics, I am proud to commend this Hoosier, Robert Duncan, upon his pending retirement.