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Aerospace Park construction to begin this fall

BLOUNTVILLE — The next phase of work is beginning on Tri-Cities Airport’s Aerospace Park. Construction of an aircraft ramp is expected to begin in the fall. It’s slated to take a year to complete at a cost of $3.5 million. Airport officials say the park will go hand in hand with the airport and nearby Northeast State Community College’s aviation program. Tri-Cities Airport Executive Director Patrick Wilson estimates the Aerospace Park could create between 1,500 and 2,000 jobs. He expects detailed design of the park to begin in the fall and grading of the land to start next spring. “The opportunity for quality advanced manufacturing-type jobs is the biggest goal,” said Wilson of development of the park. The site is adjacent to the airport in Blountville. Twenty-one acres of the future 160-acre park have been graded and prepped as a cost-savings incentive to more easily attract companies to build there.

2017-07-25T20:15:00+00:00 July 17th, 2017|News|

Speaker Harwell submits letter recommending funding for Tri-Cities Aerospace Park

BRISTOL - A couple of weeks after touring the future site of a Tri-Cities aerospace park, Harwell is continuing to support local leaders’ efforts to gain state funding to help fund the economic initiative. On Friday, Harwell wrote a letter to the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission urging its members to seriously consider the Tri-Cities Airport’s Aerospace Park for a major state grant. Officials hope to use a mix of state and local monies to grade 140 acres of land adjoining the airport, eventually making it capable of housing aerospace and advance manufacturing industries. In her letter, Harwell wrote, “The vision for the area is impressive, and I believe it will provide a strong economic boost to the region. (The) Aerospace Park is a prime location available for immediate development. As a Select Tennessee Certified Site, the shovel-ready building site minimizes risk for investors, has utilities already available and requires minimal site preparation.

2017-07-25T20:20:12+00:00 July 17th, 2017|News|

Speaker of the House Harwell makes stop in Tri-Cities

(WJHL) – Speaker of the House Beth Harwell made a stop in the Tri-Cities on Tuesday. While she said Tuesday’s visit was just to enjoy the different parades around the area, she said she came to the region yesterday to see the new aerospace park project at Tri-Cities Airport. News Channel 11 asked Harwell if she had made her decision yet to run for Tennessee’s next governor, and she said she’s “leaning that way.” “I’m just getting my team together and just wanted to continue to reach out to folks and lay some good groundwork,” Harwell said. Harwell said she will make her final decision this month. SOURCE: http://wjhl.com/2017/07/04/speaker-of-the-house-harwell-makes-stop-in-tri-cities-says-decision-about-governor-run-coming-this-month/

2017-07-25T20:25:21+00:00 July 17th, 2017|News|

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

2017-07-26T17:38:22+00:00 April 20th, 2017|News|

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

2017-07-26T17:44:55+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

2017-07-26T17:57:18+00:00 April 13th, 2017|News|

Aerospace Park Closer to Funding Needed

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 garner funding and 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

2017-07-26T19:09:09+00:00 April 11th, 2017|News|

Proposed Aerospace Park Moves 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

2017-07-26T19:15:52+00:00 April 6th, 2017|Press Releases|

Aerospace Park Likely To Receive $8.5M 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 grant 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

2017-07-26T19:20:50+00:00 March 11th, 2017|Press Releases|

State Bill Would Help Fund 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

2017-07-26T19:25:44+00:00 February 5th, 2017|Press Releases|