Governor Bredesen Announces Grant for McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport
Nashville, TN—Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that the state will provide an Aeronautics Grant in the amount of $390,000 to McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport in Jackson to assist with improvements to the facility.
“General aviation airports are critical to the economic development of communities across the state,” said Governor Bredesen. “These airports provide quick access for businesses, serve as reliever airports for local flight centers and are important shipping hubs. In order to stay competitive these airports must be kept up to date.”
The funds from this grant will be used to update the existing taxi lane connector and for construction of a new apron.
“I’m pleased TDOT and Governor Bredesen are making this investment in Jackson,” said Representative Johnny Shaw. “Maintaining our airports is vital to their continued growth. These funds will help keep this airport in top shape.”
“McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport is a vital link to Madison County’s economic and travel systems,” said Representative Jimmy Eldridge. “This is exactly the type of investment I hope the state will continue to make in our aviation system.”
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 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.