By Gov. Mark Parkinson
Governor Phil Bredesen announced last week that an Aeronautics Grant in the amount of $25,200 has been approved for the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport.
“From moving people to moving freight, the airports in Tennessee are vital pieces of the state’s overall economy and travel system,” said Bredesen. “Tennessee’s airports are often the front doors to our communities, welcoming visitors from across the globe, so it’s important to keep them up to date in order to stay competitive and efficient at meeting the needs of both businesses and travelers.”
Funds from this aeronautics grant will be used for trimming trees and vegetation near the airport.
The grants are made available through the Tennessee Department of Transportation’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 TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “We are pleased to be able to provide millions of dollars each year for the betterment of our airports through these grant programs.”
Except for routine expenditures, 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.
TAC Chair Fred Culbreath explained, “As Tennessee’s communities continue to grow, the airports must keep pace. These grants are vital to many airports in Tennessee and our board examines the applications carefully to ensure the proper state and local matching funds are in place and that the grants 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.
The Division also provides aircraft and related services for state government and staffing for the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission.
Senator Doug Overbey and Representatives Joe McCord and Richard Montgomery worked to secure these grant funds for the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport.
Source: SEYMOUR HERALD