Cossey Accepts TCAA Executive Director Position

Blountville, TN – Pending final approval by the Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA), Gene Cossey will join the Airport as executive director starting mid to late February. The TCAA will hold a called meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 2 PM to consider for approval the terms of Cossey’s contract.

“Gene Cossey is a seasoned airport executive with extensive experience in airport operations and management,” said Dr. Jon Smith, TCAA Chairman. “He has earned the designation of an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives, and International Airport Professional with the Airports Council International. We, at the Tri-Cities Airport, are extremely excited to have Gene join our Airport management team and look forward to his taking the Airport to the next level.”

“I am very excited to be a part of the Tri-Cities and to join the exceptional team at Tri-Cities Airport,” said Cossey. “The Airport and the region both provide a tremendous opportunity for continued growth and development, and I’m excited to be on the team which is making this a tremendous and prosperous region.”

Prior to accepting the position at Tri-Cities Airport, Cossey served as the Executive Director of the University of Illinois – Willard Airport. During Cossey’s three years at Willard Airport, he expanded air service, developed new concessions and revenue sources, worked to develop the first airport master plan in more than 40 years, and managed construction projects for new taxiways, airport lighting and roadways.

Cossey has worked in aviation operations management since he was a teen and held positions at five airports spanning more than 30 years. His previous employment includes serving as the Director of Operations at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the Director of Airside Operations at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. He spent the majority of his career on the Oregon Coast where he was the Operations Manager and Director of Information Technology at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, and Airport Director at the Newport Municipal Airport.

Cossey holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of Illinois, Springfield and Bachelor’s degree from Linfield College in McMinnville Oregon majoring in Business Management and Information Systems Design. He is currently a Doctoral Student in the University of Illinois Public Administration program.

Cossey is an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and is an International Airport Professional with the Airport Council International (ACI).


NOTES:  For comments or additional information please see contacts below.

Dr. Jon Smith
TCAA Chairman

Gene Cossey

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 four hubs (Atlanta, Charlotte, Orland/Sanford, and St. Pete/Clearwater/Tampa) on Allegiant, American, and Delta. For more information about Tri-Cities Airport, visit