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Governor Bredesen Announces Grant for McGhee Tyson Airport

Monday, January 01, 2007 | 06:00pm

Nashville, TN—Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that the state will provide Aeronautics Grants in the amount of $349,613 to McGhee Tyson Airport to assist with improvements to the facility.

“McGhee Tyson Airport is critical to the economic development of the Knoxville region,” said Governor Bredesen. “Thousands of visitors touch down at McGhee Tyson daily and the airport serves as a major hub for business and shipping. In order to stay competitive, airports like McGhee Tyson must be kept up to date.”

The funds from this grant will be used to repair and replace mechanical gates, rehabilitate a terminal concourse stairwell and for electrical upgrades to a passenger loading bridge.

“McGhee Tyson Airport is vital to the continued growth of this region’s economy,” said Senator Raymond Finney. “I’m pleased to see TDOT and Governor Bredesen providing this grant assistance to McGhee Tyson Airport.”

“This airport serves not only the commercial airline industry, but also air cargo, military aviation and general aviation,” said Representative Doug Overby. “It’s important to keep McGhee Tyson Airport up to date so that it will remain competitive in the aviation field.”

Representative Joe McCord added, “This is an important investment for Blount County. I appreciate the Governor and TDOT providing these funds for these needed improvements at McGhee Tyson Airport.”

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.

The Knox County delegation represents the Knoxville area in the Tennessee General Assembly.

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