Lt. Gov. McNally, Sen. Yager secure $11 million for new airport in Oak Ridge

(NASHVILLE, TN), May 12, 2022 — Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and Sen. Ken Yager (R-Kingston) secured $11 million in the FY23 state budget for a new general aviation airport in Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge is becoming a center for innovation, and the new airport will connect it with the rest of the country and support the economic growth of the region.

“I am tremendously grateful for the appropriation of these funds,” said McNally. “The new Oak Ridge airport will be an economic driver ushering in a new era of connectivity for the region. I appreciate everyone who worked to bring this vision to a reality.”

The airport will be located at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), a 1,300-acre industrial site near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. With proximity to Interstate 40, Interstate 75 and State Routes 58, 95 and 62, companies are locating at ETTP and investing millions of dollars in advanced energy research and development as well as medical isotope production. The airport would support general aviation aircraft and not commercial flights.

“The Oak Ridge corridor is an expanding hub for innovation and an airport is needed to fully realize its potential,” said Yager. “This project will be huge for the economic success of the region. I’m grateful for the support and collaboration of Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally and my Senate colleagues on ensuring this appropriation is included in the budget.”

The project is expected to cost about $55 million and is relying on funding from various other sources, including local and federal funding. The $11 million state appropriation will be used to assist with the purchase of private property this year, which is a necessary step for detailed site preparation and pre-construction planning.

An Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Engineering study is currently being prepared for the project, and other planning efforts are underway. The goal is to have the airport completed and planes in the air in 2025.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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