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Governor Bredesen Announces Grant for Tri-Cities Regional Airport

Monday, January 01, 2007 | 06:00pm

Nashville, TN—Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that the state will provide an Aeronautics Grant in the amount of $1.17 million to Tri-Cities Regional Airport 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 for the south aviation ramp and hangar improvements and for runway land acquisition at the facility.

“I’m pleased TDOT and Governor Bredesen are making this investment in the growth of Tri-Cities Regional Airport,” said Representative Nathan Vaughn. “These improvements will further improve the facility and allow it to stay competitive in the aeronautics field.”

“Tri-Cities Regional Airport is a vital part of this area’s economic and travel systems,” said Senator Ron Ramsey. “This is an important investment for the Tri-Cities area.”

Representative Jason Mumpower added, “Tri-Cities Regional Airport provides a large percentage of the industrial, business and commercial activity for this area. This grant is very important to the continued growth of the 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 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

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