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Tri-Cities Airport Aerospace Park could be ready for businesses in two years

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. — Tri-Cities Airport’s $18 million Aerospace Park could be ready for aerospace and advanced manufacturing companies to begin building in two years, based on an Airport Authority decision Thursday. The future 160-acre park, adjacent to the airport, will be graded and prepped as a cost savings incentive to more easily attract companies to build there. Tri-Cities Airport officials say it will go hand in hand with not only the airport but with Northeast State Community College’s aviation program. The authority unanimously approved conducting an $82,000 environmental assessment of 139 acres of the land, which will take six to eight months. Airport Executive Director Patrick Wilson expects the study to begin in June. He said 95 percent of the cost will be paid for with state grant money.  After the study is complete, the land will be graded and made site-ready, so all businesses will have to do is

2017-06-01T14:50:23+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Press Releases|

Aerospace Park starts to taxi forward

BLOUNTVILLE — Airport Authority commissioners passed financial and environmental initiatives on Thursday related to the Tri-Cities Airport’s Aerospace Park project viewed as the region’s next big jobs producer. The airport hired Raymond James and Associates as its financial adviser for the estimated $18 million project and named the Atkins engineering firm to do an environmental assessment of the 160-acre southside airfield site. “It’s a key piece of property and the future of this region,” NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership CEO Clay Walker said at Thursday’s Airport Authority meeting. NETWORKS and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development are promoting the site for aviation-related economic development, said airport trade specialist Mark Canty. In particular, Canty pointed out the site is being marketed to so-called “maintenance, repair and overhaul” companies. “One of our current prospects came from LinkedIn Outreach,” Canty told commissioners. “Also, we attend a lot of trade shows.” But only 21 acres

2017-06-01T14:45:41+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Press Releases|

Tri-Cities Aerospace Park takes step in right direction

A legislative template is now in place to finance the Tri-Cities Airport’s 160-acre Aerospace Park, and five local governments interested in a return on their investments are now budgeting funding for Northeast Tennessee’s next burgeoning industry. Both houses of the General Assembly unanimously approved the move, which clears the way for unprecedented aviation-related economic development in the region. The new law allows the Tri-Cities Airport Authority to borrow money and issue revenue bonds. It also grants Washington and Sullivan counties, as well as Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport the legal wherewithal to guarantee the principal and interest on the bonds are paid in full. “The park is probably the best economic opportunity the region has seen in a long time,” said Johnson City’s City Manager Pete Peterson. “There is a potential to create from 1,500 to 2,000 new, high-paying jobs, and it could augment the existing aerospace industry that’s already

2017-06-01T14:52:01+00:00 April 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Aerospace Park gets closer to needed major funding

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee governor is the only person standing in the way now of further development of a major aerospace industrial park at Tri-Cities Airport. Heading for his signature is legislation to increase the airport's borrowing power so it can proceed on the project. Area leaders say the park has countless possibilities for job creation. "Attract aerospace related industries which are all high tech, high paying good stable jobs," Tomita said. Development of 160 acres there for the park has been in the works for nearly 20 years. Airport Authority Executive Director Patrick Wilson said it has the potential to  attract companies that build and work on aircraft. "We know there's a lot of activity in the aerospace segment and we want to try to capture a piece of that for our region," Wilson said. He said the Airport Authority has already spent $23 million clearing and leveling

2017-06-01T14:53:29+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Proposed aerospace park at Tri-Cities Regional Airport takes step forward

BLOUNTVILLE, TN (WJHL-TV) – The Tennessee Legislature passed legislation this week that will allow the Tri-Cities Regional Airport to move forward with a proposed aerospace park on the airport grounds. Previously, the Tri-Cities Airport Authority could not borrow money by issuing bonds, but the legislation that was passed changed the rules. The legislation passed both the senate and house unanimously. “The general assembly passed an amendment to the state regional airport authority act that allows the various partners that created the Tri-Cities Regional Airport, the cities and counties in the region, to come together and, if they choose to, it allows them to fund a project to the development or aerospace park here at Tri-Cities Airport.”, Tri-Cities Airport Authority Executive Director Patrick Wilson said. It allows the Tri-Cities Regional Airport Authority to borrow money and issue revenue bonds and allow the airport’s partners, Northeast Tennessee city and county governments, to pledge

2017-06-01T14:55:21+00:00 April 6th, 2017|Press Releases|

Tri-Cities Aerospace Park Likely To Receive $8.5M State Grant

NASHVILLE — State Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, was among legislators who have worked in recent weeks to secure $8.5 million in funding for the Tri-Cities Airport Aerospace Park. The funding was approved in the House after State Reps. Timothy Hill, R–Blountville, Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, Hawk, Micah Van Huss, R-Gray, Bud Hulsey, R–Kingsport, and John Crawford, R–Kingsport, submitted an amendment to the state budget to include the dollars, negotiating the terms with Governor Bill Haslam and shepherding the amendment to ensure its inclusion in the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget, according to a recent news release. The state Senate approved the budget, with the amendment as a new competitive grant program using state tax dollars to fund regional airport projects across the state, including the Tri-Cities Aerospace Park, 28-2 on Monday, according to information from the state legislature. The budget now awaits Hallam’s signature. The Tri-Cities Airport Aerospace Park is

2017-06-01T14:34:40+00:00 March 11th, 2017|Press Releases|

Tennessee bill would help fund Tri-Cities Airport aerospace park

A bill filed in the state General Assembly would allow five municipal and county governments in Northeast Tennessee to guarantee bonds issued by the Tri-Cities Airport to help develop an aerospace park in Blountville. SB0020, filed by Bristol Republican Sen. Jon Lundberg, and its companion bill, HB0028, filed by Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, would give the entities that formed a regional airport authority the power to pass resolutions pledging their full faith and credit and taxing power to guarantee repayment of airport loans. Lundberg said the bill, if enacted, would give the regional airport the same abilities to raise money of metropolitan airports in the state. “The airport is one area that economically really changes the space there,” the senator said. “It already has made a strong mark, and it’s one of those where it would be foolish if we don’t invest there.” Eighteen years ago, the airport authority set

2017-06-01T14:57:46+00:00 February 5th, 2017|Press Releases|

Tri-Cities Airport Authority hoping to attract businesses to airport property, could bring thousands of jobs

BLOUNTVILLE, TN (WJHL)-A new development in a unique location here in the Tri-Cities could bring thousands of jobs. The Tri-Cities Airport Authority is hoping to attract companies to build on 160 acres of land at the Tri-Cities Airport. This is a project that’s been talked about for years. Patrick Wilson, Executive Director of the Tri-Cities Airport Authority said they’ve done all they can with grant funding to develop it, but now they need the help of the cities to finish getting the land ready for development. “They’ll be nothing like that, there will be nothing like that in the state of Tennessee,” Johnson City Mayor David Tomita said. Tomita said if this happens, it’s not just Sullivan County that will reap the rewards. “I personally am very excited about that project, such a unique piece of property, even being in Sullivan County will be a benefit to this whole region,”

2017-06-01T15:05:31+00:00 January 26th, 2017|Press Releases|

Aerospace Park stays on course

BLOUNTVILLE — Aerospace Park — Tri-Cities Airport’s (TCA) big hope for aviation-related economic development in the region — took financial and engineering steps forward on Thursday. At an Airport Authority meeting, TCA Executive Director Patrick Wilson announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given tentative approval on a $3.6 million grant from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program to use for Aerospace Park site development on a southside apron near the Air Cargo Center. Wilson said work could begin next year. Airport Authority commissioners, meanwhile, also authorized a mostly state-funded $63,430 preliminary engineering report to find out exactly what it will take to develop the site. Aerospace Park has 160 available acres — but only 21 state-certified acres ready to be built on now and a price tag of about $15 million to grade the remaining acerage. “(The FAA) wants to know there’s a need for what’s being developed over the

2017-06-01T15:08:41+00:00 October 27th, 2016|Press Releases|

Tri-Cities Regional Airport Aerospace Park could create thousands of jobs

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. - A plan to create thousands of jobs at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport is moving forward. The airport is planning to build an aerospace industrial park. First, they need to dole out $15 million. That will go towards laying the ground work on 140 acres of the 161 acre site. Airport officials and regional leaders are working on how to raise those funds. They are hoping big companies would be interested in the park. That would create jobs in aerospace manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul. "The entire 160 acres could potentially accommodate, if it were fully built up and populated by companies, a thousand to two thousand aerospace jobs on that type of acreage," said Executive Director of the Tri Cities Regional Airport Authority, Patrick Wilson. The hope is to have a plan organized by early 2017. After that, it would take around two years to lay the

2017-06-01T15:10:29+00:00 September 21st, 2016|Press Releases|