Oak Ridge Airport Initiative
Growing Economic Opportunities Through Aviation.

 Often Asked Questions

Project Description
The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority (MKAA) is charged with meeting the aviation needs of East Tennessee.  As part of that mission, MKAA is working with community partners towards the successful development of a general aviation airport located in Oak Ridge, TN.   

Through careful planning and study, a site has been selected in the Heritage Center Industrial Park located along the Oak Ridge Turnpike.  The proposed facility will assist in the revitalization of the industrial park and will prove to be an economic generator bringing jobs and visitors from around the country to the region. 

The proposed airport’s design features a 5,000 foot runway that will allow the facility to accommodate a variety of general aviation aircraft including but not limited to corporate jets, private airplanes and EMS aircraft.  The airport design will fluctuate slightly as the MKAA and its community partners work together to develop the final plans for the facility. However, these changes only impact the proposed facility and would not impact its location within the Heritage Center site.

Reasons For Developing A General Aviation Airport In Oak Ridge, TN
Introducing an airport system into a community has proven to create jobs, grow economies and stimulate prosperity.  An airport can be a crucial tool in the revitalization efforts underway in the Heritage Center Industrial Park by encouraging new business development and providing highly sought after access for corporate aircraft fleet. The proposed airport will also act as a gateway to the Oak Ridge community by opening new opportunities in tourism and job creation.

Why Choose The Heritage Center Industrial Park For The Proposed Site?
MKAA has meticulously reviewed several different site options and weighed the benefits of each proposed location. It is through this exhaustive process, a significant amount of study, and careful attention to the area’s ongoing historic preservation efforts that we have selected a site in the Heritage Center. Not only will the proposed efforts be complementary to the ongoing revitalization efforts in the park but its location has easy roadway access that will make it attractive to businesses as well as private pilots.

What Progress Has Been Made On The Proposed Airport To Date?
MKAA has completed two planning studies regarding the proposed Oak Ridge facility that thoroughly reviewed multiple sites provided by the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) and the Department of Energy (DOE).  The studies, conducted by The LPA Group, Inc., were an intensive look into several factors that have direct impact on the final proposed location of the airport.

To move forward on the project, the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority’s (MKAA) Board of Commissioners approved funding for a justification study that will thoroughly examine the proposed site at its March 21, 2012, meeting.  This review is the first of many steps that MKAA will take in an extensive process to successfully develop the general aviation airport.

Now that an agreeable location has been selected, MKAA must begin the rigorous process of examining the site’s potential in regards to the proposed airport development.  They will continue to work with area officials and stakeholders to determine how best to approach this new economic initiative.

What Is The Proposed Timetable For This Project?
A detailed timeline can be found on this site. As with any project of this magnitude, available funding is critical to the timeline of the project.  However, if the project moves according to the proposed timeline presented by the MKAA’s contractor, The LPA Group, Inc., construction could begin as early as the end of 2017 with the airport open for operations by the end of 2021.

How Much Does This Project Cost?
The cost of the project, pending additional study by The LPA Group, Inc., is $30 - $40 million. The proposed airport will be funded through federal, state and local funds.

Will The Proposed Site Impact Blair Road?
According to the current design, Blair Road will be impacted. But, additional study is being conducted in relation to the final airport layout and the extent of the impact on the road is unclear at this point in the project's development. The design team is very aware of the historic preservation efforts ongoing in the area and will work to incorporate those issues into the final airport design. 

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