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Air traffic will soon return to the Greeneville Municipal Airport, which is tentatively set to reopen on Dec. 12 following a runway improvement project.

A tentative date of Dec. 12 has been set for reopening of the Greeneville Municipal Airport.

Weather conditions have permitted the painting of temporary markings on the runway and those markings meet requirements of the Tennessee Department of Transportation for operation of the airport, Greeneville Municipal Airport Authority Roger Gray told his fellow members during a called meeting Monday.

The weather forecast does not appear to provide a four-day window of dry, above 45-degree conditions in the near future, Gray said, and TDOT has indicated that the airport can open with the temporary markings if the contractor, Summers-Taylor Inc., and Airport Authority are comfortable with that option.

The local airport has been closed since August for the strengthening and repaving of the runway, repaving of the taxiway and repair and repaving of the apron.

The contractor has indicated that needed electrical work and sod placement around the edges of the runway should be completed by Dec. 12, Gray said.

Unless there is a complicating factor, the airport should open at 10 a.m. on Dec. 12, he added.

The airport may have be closed for three or four days in the spring after the weather warms for permanent markings to be painted, Gray said.

UPDATE ON MANAGER SEARCH

Two action items were on the agenda for the called meeting: discussion of airport manager candidates and hiring of an engineering firm to provide services for the next five years to the airport.

Following extended discussion, the Airport Authority voted to offer one of the recently interviewed candidates the position at a salary of $60,000 with a $10,000 relocation stipend. The authority also agreed that it would like to have the new manager begin on Jan. 2.

Neither candidate has been publicly named.

The airport manager will oversee daily operations at the airport and help promote the further economic development of the facility.

While the members said that both candidates have experience in running airports and could do the duties required, one candidate appeared more suited toward the economic development part of the position.

Other positives of the candidate to be offered the job was his knowledge of the process to obtain grants from TDOT for improvement projects and experience successfully operating an airport without local funding. This candidate is at an airport in the state currently. The other candidate is out-of-state.

Greeneville City Administrator Todd Smith told the authority members that the candidate had come by Town Hall to reiterate his interest in the position after applying and to inquire about the progress.

ENGINEERING FIRM

The authority also approved PDC Consultants as the firm to provide engineering services for the airport for the next five years. The previous contract with Barge Design Solutions expired earlier this year, and the Airport Authority had sought submissions of qualifications from engineering firm.

According to state requirements, a decision has to be made about whether a firm is qualified to provide the services before a fee is negotiated. Fee negotiation is the next step in the process.

The Airport Authority had selected PDC for the engineering services, but then learned that it needed to complete state-required paperwork about the selection process. That paperwork is now completed and the airport took another vote to make sure that all the steps have been followed correctly and in order.

The authority also agreed to tentatively set its next meeting on Dec. 19.