For the second time in ten years, Gatlinburg – Pigeon Forge Airport is named Airport of the Year in Tennessee.
The Tennessee Aeronautics Commission Award of Excellence was announced at the recent Airport Conference in Nashville. The Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport, located in Sevierville, was chosen from 67 statewide airports.
“This award shows the aviation board and the airport are trying to provide service to a growing community,” says Don Baker, Airport Manager. “The airport commission is recognizing good airport authority. They noticed that we get a lot of government grants to keep up with the growth of the area.”
The airport has received over $2 million in government grants earmarked for expansion, as previously reported in The Herald. Engineers are working on the building plans to add 15-20 new hangers to the 39 they currently operate. The beginning construction date has not been set yet, but the project is supposed to be completed in 2007.
The 500 foot runway services approximately 44,000 flights a year. Baker explains that this figure is estimated since they do not service commercial flights, only general aviation aircrafts including helicopters.
In the history of the airport, they haven’t had any major accidents, only the occasional slide-off into the grass.
Baker won Airport Manager of the Year in 2002. They have also received Governing Body of the Year and Most Improved Airport in recent years.