South Bend Airport Installing Smoking Shelters

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- In an effort to curb an increasing amount of litter from smokers who toss their cigarette butts, South Bend Regional Airport will pay $10,000 to buy and install two outdoor smoking shelters, officials said.

John Schalliol, the airport's executive director, said the move will help people adhere to the airport's smoking ordinance.

In 1999, the airport banned smoking within 30 feet of terminal building doors, Schalliol said. In 2001, it was modified so the distance would be at the executive director's discretion.

Schalliol said he's insisted on no smoking within 50 feet, although smokers haven't complied. Rather than venture to the outdoor ashtrays, he said, they've stood near the doors while smoking.

The shelters, which could be installed within a couple months, won't guarantee that all smokers comply with the airport measure, Schalliol conceded, but they'll help improve the airport's look.

"It's the last thing (people) see when they leave the airport. ... It's just the impression that it leaves is not a good one," he said. "And the same with the smoke. I know how I feel when I have to battle my way through a cloud of smoke."

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