Business Travel Survey – Critical for Air Service Development Research

Blountville, Tenn – The Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) is seeking input from local businesses regarding the demand for business travel in an effort to bring additional air service to the greater Tri-Cities region.

The 15-question survey includes the following topics: 2022 vs. 2019 business travel, 2023 business travel expectations, top 10 business destinations, and airport use. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes or less to complete.

Information gathered from the survey process will help TRI staff communicate with airlines where businesses travel most, future corporate travel expectations, and potential markets for additional routes for the airlines. The airport asks that responses be limited to the businesses travel coordinator or only one person, unless different divisions within the organization manage their own travel.

“Your feedback is vitally important as we work to garner additional air service for TRI’s communities,” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) executive director. “The more businesses we have participate in the survey, even if they only travel once a year, the better our chances for recruitment of additional air service. The community’s engagement is critical to the success of your hometown airport.”

Businesses can complete the online survey by following this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TRI-Business-Survey. The survey will close Friday, November 11.

For more information about the survey or for questions regarding air service development, contact Kristi Haulsee, TCAA director of marketing and air service development at khaulsee@triflight.com or 423-325-6032.

Tri-Cities Airport Opens Long-Term Express Lot in Response to Growing Passenger Numbers

Blountville, TN – The Tri-Cities Airport has re-opened the Long-Term Express parking lot in response to the continued increase in passenger traffic. The Long-Term Express lot is a credit card only parking lot that is conveniently located on the right, just past rental car parking with access to the covered walkway. The parking lot had been closed since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer passengers.

From January through May 2022, total passenger volume at TRI was 141,023, a 51% increase from the 93,383 passengers who traveled through the airport last year. TRI passenger numbers are 85% of 2019 numbers for the same period.

In May 2022, 19,171 passengers boarded flights out of TRI, a 32% increase over the 14,411 enplanements during the same month last year. American Airlines accounted for nearly 51.10% of the overall total number of passengers traveling through the airport. Delta Air Lines was next with a 39.42% share, followed by Allegiant with 9.48%. Although Allegiant had the lowest market share, they finished the month of May with a 92.4% load factor, meaning 3,559 out of the 3,852 seats they offered were booked. American’s load factor was also high at 83.2% and Delta’s load factor was 85.7%

April’s passenger numbers included race fans who attended the NASCAR Cup Series Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, as American increased capacity around the race events. Allegiant has also extended their seasonal non-stop service to St. Pete/Clearwater (PIE) for November 2022 – February 2023.

“We work closely with our airline partners to encourage additional seats in our market around large events, such as the NASCAR races and other events and festivals, that bring in passenger traffic,” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport Authority executive director. “In this current environment, it speaks volumes about our market that TRI received additional capacity for the race.”

As summer travel continues, airport officials encourage passengers to look at TRI’s airfares before purchasing tickets at other airports. “This is region is currently

underserved with the number of seats verses the number of people wanting to travel,” said Cossey. “As the airlines continue the slow recovery from the pandemic, we do think we’ll see our capacity increase. It’s important in this current market environment to book early and if you find a price you like, book it.”

Long-Term Express Parking Rates:
$2.00 per hour; $9 daily maximum rate.
Rates repeat every 24 hours.
*15-minute grace period on the first hour only.

For additional information regarding parking, please visit the airport’s parking information here or visit www.triflight.com/passenger-guide/parking/.

Tri-Cities Airport to Host Job Fair

Blountville, Tenn – The Tri-Cities Airport Authority will be hosting a job fair on Tuesday, June 28. To keep up with increasing travel demands, companies are looking to hire multiple candidates for a variety of available positions. The fair, which features some of the airport’s tenants and aviation partners, will take place between 12 – 4 p.m. at the airport, located on the mezzanine (upstairs, pre-security) in the main terminal.

Pre-registration is not required to attend the event and parking is free. Attendees are asked to park in the short-term parking lot upon arrival. Hiring managers recommend bringing multiple copies of your resume along with your ID. For additonal information regarding the event, please contact Trevor Rice, marketing and air service development manager at 423-325-6030.

WHO:

Tri-Cities Airport Authority
TSA
American Airlines
Unifi Ground Handling Services
Tailwind Consessionaires
Avis Budget Rental Cars
Tri-City Aviation
Northeast State Aviation Technology
Morristown Flying Service

WHAT: 2022 TRI Airport Job Fair

WHEN: Tuesday, June 28

12 – 4 p.m.

WHERE: Tri-Cities Airport – Mezzanine (upstairs, pre-security) in main terminal

TCAA Announces First Aerospace Park Tenant

Blountville, Tenn – The Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) approved a lease agreement with Final Forge at today’s board meeting, making the company the first to locate on Aerospace Park.

Final Forge will be constructing two new buildings at the airport with more than 50,000 square feet dedicated to its operations, which will move to Blountville later this year.

Final Forge develops and manufactures head-borne protective equipment for the military, law enforcement, first responders, and homeland security forces. David Rogers, company founder, and employees have spent decades working in this field and have created many highly-regarded protective products used throughout the world.

The company’s primary activities at Aerospace Park will be focused on research and development, manufacturing, and maintenance of protective helmets, eyewear, hearing, and respiratory devices used by fixed and rotarywing aircraft pilots and crew. Final Forge currently holds multiple contracts with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The Blountville location will provide Final Forge with improved resources for customers at Fort Campbell, Fort Bragg, Fort Rucker, MacDill AFB and Virginia Beach with their proximity to the Tri-Cities.

In addition to more than a dozen manufacturing jobs, Final Forge will be bringing a significant amount of laboratory and production machinery along with three aircraft to the new facilities.

“Being located at the airport will not only aid in the product flight testing, research and development activities, but will also provide aviation customers the ability to fly-in and have their equipment serviced on-site by the same technicians responsible for building it in the first place,” said David Rogers, Final Forge managing member. “This one-stop-shop approach will shorten lead-times and improve the customer experience in ways never before possible with aviation life-support equipment.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Final Forge to Aerospace Park and the Tri-Cities region,” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport executive director. “We believe this is just the start of success for Aerospace Park, and like Final Forge, many more aerospace businesses will see the benefit of being located here in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.”

TCAA Public Safety to Host Regional ARFF Awareness and Mutual Aid Response Class

Blountville, Tenn – The Tri-Cities Airport Authority Public Safety Department will be hosting a regional Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Awareness and Mutual Aid Response class on Saturday, April 30th at 9 a.m. The class will consist of classroom training, tabletop scenarios, along with tactics and strategy training. ARFF courses are designed for those who provide fire service protection for airports.

The training will educate TRI’s mutual aid agencies about how the airport and fire department function, and the basic emergency procedures for common general aviation aircraft in our area. TCAA Public Safety will have their ARFF fire engines on display along with fixed wing aircraft and helicopters for walk arounds.

Local Mutual Aid Agencies Attending:

  • Bristol TN Fire Department
  • Elizabethton Fire Department
  • Sullivan County Vol. Fire Department
  • Warriors Path Vol. Fire Department
  • Sulfur Springs Vol. Fire Department
  • Piney Flats Vol. Fire Department
  • Bristol TN E911
  • Sullivan County Emergency Management/Rescue Division

“We are pleased to be able to offer this training to our neighboring departments,” said Cpt. Denton Hall. “We want to train with our mutual aid partners on a regular basis so that if we were to have an incident at the airport, we will all be on the same page and work seamlessly,” he continued. The unique needs of the global airport industry require emergency and disaster responders to have specialized training for effective response. TRI’s public safety officers undergo monthly training and annual certifications to ensure that the airport remains FAR Part 139 certified. This certification allows TRI to accept commercial air traffic.

Tri-Cities Airport to begin roof rehabilitation and replacement project

Blountville, Tenn – Beginning February 14, the Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) will begin its roof rehabilitation and replacement project. The project will brighten the overall appearance of the Terminal and Concourse in addition to providing a new, weather-tight roof.

The project will involve demolition of the existing roofs and their replacement with a multi-layered roofing system that produces a new code-compliant, leak-free product. The construction will start with the terminal and then move on to the concourse once the terminal phase is complete. 

“The Tri-Cities Airport is always striving to be the best airport for our community,” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport Authority executive director. “Projects like the roof replacement can be messy and challenging, but once complete, this project will be just one more reason why we have the best airport in the southeast right here in the Tri-Cities. So, please ‘pardon our dust’ and thank you for your patience as we continue to make your airport excellent.”

The estimated completion date for the entire project is July 11, 2022 but is subject to change depending on crew size and weather. The estimated cost of the project is $1.5 million and will be paid for through the use of federal and state grant dollars. While the Airport does not expect passenger traffic to be affected, passengers may experience loud noises and dust. 

Construction updates will be provided through TRI’s social media accounts and website at triflight.com.

TRI Warns of Weather-Related Delays and Cancellations

Blountville, Tenn – The Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) is alerting passengers that flight delays and cancellations are projected to begin this evening and impact travel through early next week.

Winter storm Izzy is impacting air travel throughout the aviation system causing delays and cancellations in a number of markets. The Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) website indicates American Airlines flight 5656 scheduled to arrive tonight at 9:29 PM has been cancelled. American flight 5657 scheduled for Saturday morning is also cancelled. 

“We would like to remind passengers to either check the daily flight schedule on triflight.com, or to check the status of their flight directly with the airline before traveling to the airport,” said Kristi Haulsee, TCAA director of marketing & air service development. “Even if there is not a significant weather event in our area, the winter storm is impacting the aviation system as a whole causing delays and cancellations.”

The best way for passengers to check directly with the airlines will be electronically as their customer service numbers will be extremely busy. 

Links to check a flight schedule with TRI airlines:

Allegiant – https://bit.ly/3Fo4FUh

American – https://www.aa.com/travelInformation/flights/schedule

Delta – https://www.delta.com/flight-status/search

Contact numbers for the airlines can be found here: https://triflight.com/flights-booking/#airlineinfo

Corporate Travel Survey Critical For Air Service Development Research

Blountville, Tenn – The Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) released a corporate travel survey today, offering businesses in the greater Tri-Cities region the opportunity to help improve air service. 

The 16-question survey includes the following topics: information regarding 2019 corporate travel, future corporate travel expectations, airline use and airport use. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes or less to complete.

Information gathered from the survey process will help TRI staff communicate with airlines where businesses travel most, future corporate travel expectations, and potential markets for additional routes for the airlines.

“Your feedback is vitally important as we work to garner additional air service for TRI’s communities,” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) executive director. “The more businesses we have participate in the survey, even if they only travel once a year, the better our chances for recruitment of additional air service. The community’s engagement is critical to the success of your hometown airport.” 

Businesses can complete the online survey by following this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TRICorpSurvey. The survey will close Friday, January 21.

For more information about the survey or for questions regarding air service development, contact Kristi Haulsee, TCAA director of marketing and air service development at khaulsee@triflight.com or 423-325-6032.

TCAA Accounting Department Receives GFOA Award for 22nd Consecutive Year

Blountville, Tenn – For the 22nd consecutive year, the Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The award was received for TCAA’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020.

In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. Achievement of this prestigious award represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

An award of Financial Reporting Achievement was also presented to Rene Weber, Tri-Cities Airport Authority’s Director of Finance, for his role in preparing the award-winning CAFR.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association for our Annual Financial Report,” said Gene Cossey, TCAA Executive Director. “I especially appreciate the effort and attention to detail that Rene Weber and the finance staff exhibit daily when managing the Airport’s finances.”

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate TCAA’s financial story.

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Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) is a full-service commercial airport serving Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Western North Carolina, and Eastern Kentucky. TRI offers non-stop flights to five hubs (Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Orland Sanford, and St. Pete-Clearwater) on Allegiant, American, and Delta. For more information about Tri-Cities Airport, visit triflight.com.

On World Day Against Trafficking, Organizations Raise Awareness for Human Trafficking*

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WCYB) — According to the Department of Justice, human trafficking is the second most profitable criminal activity in the United States.

On World Day Against Trafficking, travelers in and out of the Tri-Cities Airport on Friday couldn’t help but notice chalk art and red sand. The Sullivan County Health Department and Tri-Cities Airport teamed up in an effort to raise awareness.

“It represents those who fall through the cracks in our society,” says Rachel Dean from the Sullivan County Health Department.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, many traffickers operate independently and know their victims prior to abuse. They say 43% of trafficking victims have pre-existing relations with their trafficker prior to being exploited.

“We want people to look down, see that bright red sand, and wonder what it is for,” says Dean.

“We got information at different locations about the Red Sand Project, what it is, as well as human trafficking resources where people can learn more.”

Gene Cossey, the Executive Director at the Tri-Cities Airport, says this is an issue the transportation industry deals with around the world.

“We want to make sure that here at Tri-Cities, we’re doing everything we can to to keep those things getting through the greater system,” says Cossey.

Dean and Cossey both say if you see something suspicious, say something.

“Maybe there’s someone that looks like they don’t want to be traveling,” says Dean. “There with an individual who won’t let them speak for themselves. Have visible injuries.”

“If you know something, there’s hotlines to call,” says Cossey. “If you see something that’s awkward, it doesn’t even need to be something you see at the airport.”

If you do see suspicious activity, call (855) 558-6484.

*All content, including photos, are courtesy of WCYB. To view the full story, click here.

To learn more about the Red Sand Project, click here.

NOTICE: As of July 1, 2024, parking rates will change
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