Oak Ridge Airport
About The Airport Project
The City of Oak Ridge intends to construct a new general aviation airport in the City.
In September 2020, the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority (MKAA) agreed to transfer sponsorship to the City through an assignment and assumption agreement.
City staff took steps to transfer grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Tennessee Aeronautics Economic Development Fund (AEDF) from MKAA to the City to realign it with the new sponsorship.
The airport will be located at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) at Heritage Center, on the site of the former Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (a.k.a. K-25) and adjacent or roughly parallel to Oak Ridge Turnpike (Highway 58).
The airport, with a 5,000-foot runway, will support general aviation in the Oak Ridge Corridor region, as current capacity is limited in this market and does not support projected growth and future demand. The proposed airport will support growth in the business, industrial, and tourism sectors and allow leaders to fly to Oak Ridge, putting the City on the map for technology companies. It would incentivize industry developing nearby - like Coquí RadioPharmaceuticals Corp., which is an Eastern U.S. distribution company that develops medical isotopes. The DOE has also voiced its support for the project and stated that it will benefit their operations in Oak Ridge.
The airport will leverage existing assets and strengthen the region's manufacturing base. A secondary goal is the diversification of the Oak Ridge and Roane County economies which will be negatively impacted by anticipated long-term reductions in federal employment that currently numbers approximately 12,000 jobs. Specifically, the design and construction of a new Oak Ridge Airport at the ETTP will support the objective of new manufacturing investment with high-growth potential in the emerging carbon fiber and alternative energy industries.