Tag Archives: airport

Chattanooga Airport Argument Lands at Legislature

A dispute between a Texas-based company providing aviation services at Chattanooga’s airport and the local airport authority board has taken flight and landed in the middle of the Tennessee Legislature, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
TAC Air, a company providing fuel and hangar space for private airplanes at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, is backing a bill that jumps into the dispute.
It would block future use of grants from the state’s Transportation Equity Fund to “compete” against “existing, privately owned” fixed-base operators such as TAC Air.
Three House members and a senator from outside Hamilton County are sponsoring the bill, which is scheduled to come up in the House Transportation Subcommittee and Senate Transportation Committee later this week.
(Note: The legislation is SB912, sponsored by Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, and Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma. Reps. Vance Dennis and Terri Lynn Weaver have signed on as co-sponsors with Mathney.))
The company has been fighting with the airport since officials in 2010 unveiled plans to spend $10 million on new facilities for corporate tenants and personal aircraft with the operation run by another company. Airport officials said the facilities, on which some $5 million in grants have been expended, were needed because of complaints about TAC Air.
But TAC Air executives have accused Lovell Field officials of using taxpayer money to effectively ground its existing business.
Pam McAllister, TAC Air’s Chattanooga general manager, said Monday the company is being forced to compete against its own “landlord,” the quasi-governmental airport authority, at taxpayer expense.
“How can we compete fairly when we don’t have access to the funds they do?” she said.

Sen. Rand Paul Triggers Alarm, Detained at Nashville Airport

Rand Paul, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky and son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, was held at Nashville International Airport Monday morning for refusing to complete the screening process after he triggered an alarm, reports The Tennessean.
The Transportation Security Administration claimed Rand Paul triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and refused to complete the screening process in order to resolve the issue, TSA spokesman Jon Allen said.
The scanner found an “anomaly” on Paul’s knee, according to the Associated Press.
Paul claimed he asked for another scan but refused a pat down by airport security and was then detained at a small cubicle and missed his flight.
Paul said the situation reflects his long-standing concern that the TSA shouldn’t be “spending so much time with people who wouldn’t attack us.”

Jackson Airport Faces Cutbacks

Commercial air service to Jackson’s McKellar-Sipes Airport was dealt a double blow Thursday, reports the Tennessean.
First, the airport’s director said the commercial airline that provides flights to and from Nashville won’t continue service after Sept. 30. Second, a deal reached by Senate Democrats and House Republicans could cut off subsidies to the airport and up to 12 others in rural areas.
Note: The Jackson airport is one of 13 across the nation scheduled to lose subsidies under the congressional deal that ended a partial Federal Aviation Associaton shutdown. The AP story on the deal is below — Jackson mentioned in last paragraph

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