UPPER CUMBERLAND — The Upper Cumberland Regional Airport Board at its regular monthly meeting recently accepted a proposal from the Highland Aero company to offer an aircraft rental and flight school on the airport premises.
And that business is expected to begin offering its services for aircraft rental and a flight school with a roster of contracted instructors on May 1.
The managing members of Highland Aero, Tom Evans and Cliff Davidson, were in attendance at the recent meeting to answer questions and discuss their proposal, and in a letter dated April 10 to outgoing manager Jim Kmet, they outlined the specifics of their proposal.
“We intend to be of service to [the airport] and the aviation community by providing high quality rental and training aircraft and by further supporting and promoting general aviation in the local community,” Evans and Davidson say in the letter.
Evans is a retired civil aviation security specialist, and Davidson is a builder and developer. Both are licensed private pilots.
According to the operational agreement they proposed and that the airport board recently approved, Highland Aero will provide and manage FAA certified aircraft for rental to licensed pilots and flight students, and the business will contract with independent instructors to provide flight-training services.
Highland Aero will rent both office and hangar space at the airport and will have round-the-clock access to that office and hangar.
That office and hangar space, the representatives say, will accommodate their field operations at the airport, although the principal location and business office for Highland Aero is listed as a McMinnville address.
The business has also requested periodic use of the airport’s conference room and large hangar for group presentations and gatherings.
Highland Aero will provide “Learn to Fly Here” signage at the highway exit, and it will provide airport staff with detailed flyers with information about its services for reference and dissemination to walk-in customers.
In addition, it will also provide airport staff with a lit of customers and students who will have authorized access to the Highland Aero aircraft.
The company is licensed and registered with the required state and federal agencies and, now with the approval of the airport board, will be obtaining a White County business license.
It is also in the process of acquiring insurance coverage, having found a Knoxville insurance provider.
“We will work cooperatively with [the airport] staff to ensure smooth and effective operations. [Highland Aero] will add employees or instructors as needed,” the representatives say in their letter to Kmet.
After stating their desire to begin operations on May 1, the representatives say, “We would like to start organizing our office space and working with your staff and local instructors while we wait for delivery of our first Archer II, which should occur within two weeks.”
At the time of this publication, the delivery of the plane for the business is imminent.