Fixed-Base Operator in Knoxville, Tenn. Gets Approval for $1 Million Hangars Project

The fixed-base operator at McGhee Tyson will build two 11,000-square-foot hangars at the airport in a $1 million project approved Wednesday by the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners.

TAC Air of Texarkana, Texas, provides general aviation services, including airplane maintenance, storage and fuel, to the airport. The two new hangars will have 2,500 square feet of office space and 2,000 square feet of covered parking.

Randall Honea, general manager of TAC Air in Knoxville, said the hangar facilities are 75 percent pre-sold.

Preliminary design is complete but still awaiting approval. Construction should take four to six months.

The board granted a 10-year extension to TAC Air's FBO and fuel farm agreements, giving the company a 30-year lease term that expires Dec. 31, 2036.

In other business, the board approved:

--A contract for SwiftTrip LLC of Jeffersonville, Ind., to provide a flight-booking engine on McGhee Tyson's Web site, .

The airport authority hopes to have the engine operating in October. Travelers will be able to book their flights on the airport's Web site, and the airport authority will earn revenue from the bookings and collect marketing data on McGhee Tyson flyers.

--A nearly $600,000 change order for road realignment, drainage and electrical changes in the West Aviation Area. The money is covered by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

--An Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

--An addendum to the limited fixed-base operator's license agreement of Horizon Avionics. The company has provided radio and instrument services at McGhee Tyson since 2001, and now has approval to provide aircraft maintenance services.

According to the airport authority, McGhee Tyson had 142,989 passengers in August, a 10 percent decline from the previous year. The airport authority said there are 20 percent fewer seats in the market than last year.

Year-to-date, passenger traffic is down 11.5 percent, but up 9 percent from 2004 levels, according to the airport authority.

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