Aerospace park ahead of schedule

News

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) There are new developments on the planned Aerospace Park development at Tri-Cities Airport.

In a meeting with the Kingsport board of mayor and alderman, Tuesday night, airport officals stated that 50 acres is now ready for development. The other 110 acres will be ready by the end of next year.

The Aerospace Park is an industrial park on the runway for companies involved in aviation, specifically with maintenance.

Airport officials said the goal of the this new Aerospace Park is to increase the standard of living the in region.

Set to be completed by December 2020, the Aerospace Park is ahead of schedule.

“I hope it would increase commercial service at the airport. I hope for the region, that it increases the standard of living because we’re talking about higher paying jobs in a general manufacturing way, better starting salaries, a better skilled workforce,” Mark Canty said.

Tri-Cities Airport director of business development, Mark Canty, said he hopes the new space will increase commercial service.

Canty said, “It’s beneficial to the airport in that the more industrial development, and the more people that we have coming in, the more commercial service we can possibly recruit to the airport. It’s good for the industry, it’s good for the airport and it’s good for passengers that use the airport.”

He said this benefits the aviation industry because more jobs will be created, and it is also great for the airport.

“A plane would fly in, have work done on it, while it’s on the ground and fly back out. We also recruit assembly centers where they piece together panels of an aircraft, put every part of the aircraft to perform a final product it would fly off,” Canty said. “We recruit completion centers, in which they would bring aircraft that are not completed inside. We would have customer specification that we would build interior out to meet. We also recruit paint facilities and any number of businesses that would lead their own way.”

Students entering Northeast State’s Aviation Technology program will be able to learn skills associated with the new development.

In a statement by northeast state community college officials:

Northeast State’s vision is to build a reliable pipeline of trained and certified aviation technicians by expanding the College’s Aviation Technology program and supporting development of the Aerospace Park.
We also recruit paint facilities and any number of businesses that would lead their runway.”

Canty said the college’s president, Dr. Flora, is driving force of Northeast State Community College’s initiative to have their aviation maintenance technology program transition into a full Airframe and Powerplant (A&M) certification

“She has a great knowledge of how we at the airport need that program, and she’s also the driving force behind getting it up and running,” Canty said.

Tri-Cities Airport officials said they will wait until they have a prospective business that wants to locate there before they build an actual facility.

Last October, ground was broken on the development. The Tri-Cities Airport authority said it will continue to promote the current site to target industries

SEE ALSO: TDOT grants $1.69 million for Aerospace Park

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