Governor Bredesen Announces Grant for Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport

Sunday, October 29, 2006 | 06:00pm

Grant awarded through TDOT’s Aeronautics Division

Nashville, TN—Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that the state will provide an Aeronautics Grant in the amount of $102,150 to the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in Sevier County to assist with improvements to the facility.

“The Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, like many other general aviation airports, serves as an important hub for businesses operating in the state, for shipping, and as a reliever airport for larger flight centers, like McGhee Tyson,” said Bredesen. “These airports are a key component of the state’s transportation system. I’m pleased to support the airport’s continued growth.”

The funds from this grant will be used for safety improvements, such as a new rotating beacon and for an airport layout plan.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely explained that the grants are made available through the department’s Aeronautics Division. “This Division administers federal and state funding to assist in the location, design, construction and maintenance of Tennessee’s diverse public aviation system,” reported Nicely. “We are pleased to be able to provide millions of dollars each year for the betterment of our airports through our grant programs.”

Grant applications are reviewed by the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission (TAC), which is a five member board charged with policy planning and with regulating changes in the state airport system plan.

“These grants can have a significant impact on the future of a general aviation airport and its economic contributions to our state,” said TAC Chairman Lonnie Strunk. “Our board examines the applications carefully to ensure that the funds will be put to good use.”

The TDOT Aeronautics Division also has the responsibility of inspecting and licensing the state’s 126 heliports and 75 public/general aviation airports. General aviation includes all aircraft not flown by commercial airlines or the military. The Aeronautics Division also provides aircraft and related services for state government executives, staffing for the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission, and numerous educational support programs. The division’s offices include Administration, Finance & Grant Management, Engineering & Program Development, Flight Services, and Planning & Programming.

Senator Raymond Finney and Representatives Joe McCord and Richard Montgomery represent Sevier County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

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