By: CURT EPSTEIN
Cleveland Regional Jetport held its grand opening on January 25 in Cleveland, Tenn. Intended to replace nearby Hardwick Field, the $42 million project was completed in two years. According to Mark Fidler, the new airport’s director of operations and marketing, Hardwick required replacement because it was cost prohibitive for the city to acquire surrounding residential properties needed to expand the runway beyond its 3,300 feet.
The new Jetport provides a 5,500-foot runway with a crowned surface and LED runway and taxi lights, suitable for most corporate aircraft, and a 310,000-sq-ft ramp. In response to requests from local large-cabin aircraft operators, Fidler told AIN, the airport authority filed an application for a 500-foot runway extension before the airport even opened. The FAA is currently developing GPS Waas approaches to both ends of the runway.
Crystal Air manages an 8,000-sq-ft FBO terminal designed to reflect the character of the eastern Tennessee region with natural earth tones, fireplaces, stonework and local wood. It features dedicated pilot lounges with snooze rooms, three audio-visual-equipped conference rooms (the largest seating 49 people), and a full catering kitchen. An observation deck is open to the general public.
Hardwick Field has since been downgraded to a private airport used solely by based aircraft. Officials expect to sell the property to the highest bidder by the end of June to earn revenue toward the cost of the new airport.