'Airport Authority' Created By Board
To Replace 'Airport Commission'
Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TCRA) celebrated a milestone last Friday with a reception recognizing 75 years of service to the region.
In 1934, when commercial aviation was just getting started, several forward-thinking individuals got together with the idea of creating a central airport to serve the region.
With initial contributions from Bristol, Tenn., Kingsport, Johnson City and Sullivan County to purchase 323 acres, and funding from the Works Progress Administration, McKellar Tri-City Airport was dedicated Nov. 5, 1937.
"In celebrating Tri-Cities Regional Airport's 75th anniversary, we are honoring one of the first and most enduring examples of regionalism in our area," said Patrick Wilson, TCRA executive director.
The next 25 years will begin with a new organizational structure, a news report stated.
The Airport Commission officially converted to an Airport Authority at the board meeting prior to the reception last week.
"While the airport users won't notice any operational changes, the new authority structure will allow the airport to operate more efficiently, respond more quickly to grant opportunities and offer additional legal protections to the city and county owners," Wilson said in a news release.
"There's nothing that changes with our employee base, and nothing that changes with the way the airport is administered," Wilson added.
To celebrate the 75th Anniversary, Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation John Schroer spoke to guests about the importance of Tri-Cities Regional Airport to the state transportation system.
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey presented a resolution from the Tennessee General Assembly recognizing the airport's commitment to excellence over the years.
At the conclusion of the event, a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft from the Air National Guard based in Knoxville treated guests and visitors to a flyby reminiscent of the flyby at the dedication ceremony in 1937.
The public can view a new display in the airport terminal with more information on Tri-Cities Regional Airport's role in aviation history.
Further information is available online at http://www.TRIflight.com/75years