Plans for new terminal in place for next year
The Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport has most recently received $2.8 million in grants to be spent over the next six months, which includes $600,000 to go towards the construction of a new terminal there.
If you factor in these monies made up of three separate state grants, the airport has managed over $6 million in grant funds just in the last two years for improvements and expansions at the airport.
The most recent awards involved a $1.1 million grant to shift dirt around to mitigate certain safety issues and to make room for the new terminal.
“We’ve got some low spots down on the left side of the museum,” said Gatlinburg- Pigeon Forge Airport Manager Don Baker. “We’re going to take down a hill on the east end of the runway for safety issues.” This project will most likely begin in the fall.
“And, we’re going to use the dirt to fill up some holes and build us a new terminal building,” said Baker.
“The funds from this grant will be used to upgrade the airport’s obstacle free zone, which is an important safety improvement,” stated state Representative Richard Montgomery (R-Sevierville). “This is a good investment for the state to make.”
“Another grant for $600,000 will go towards the construction of a new terminal building,” Baker said.
Baker said that the county has been fortunate enough to get a lot of good grants over the past couple of years to accommodate its relentless growth. “We’ve actually received close to $6 million in grants just in the last two years,” Baker said, adding that officials with the Department of Transportation Aeronautics Board have been instrumental in helping the airport receive these grants, which are allotted out of the Aviation Trust Fund.
“A lot of this is 90 percent grants where we only have to come up with 10 percent,” he said.
“As soon as we can get that hole filled-in down there we’ll start to design and hope to build a new terminal building next year,” Baker said. The airport received a $600,000 grant this year specifically for the terminal’s construction, which will be located on the west side of the museum.
Other recent grants for the airport include a $1.2 million grant to move some TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) power lines, “And we’ve got that completed now,” according to Baker.
Another $1 million grant was awarded to buy 30 acres from the City of Sevierville.