Tri-Cities Airport Hosts Merit Badge Event for Boy Scouts

BLOUNTVILLE, TN –On Saturday, April 13, Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) will host an aviation merit badge event for 60 members of the Sequoyah Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Held at Tri-City Aviation, the day will feature a tour of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Tower, a demonstration of aircraft preflight checks, and exploration of various aviation careers.

“We strive to inspire our kids to be the future of the aviation industry and the merit badge days are a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of these young people,” said Gene Cossey, executive director of Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA). Cossey will issue a welcoming statement to the participating Boy Scout troops on Saturday morning shortly after 8:00 AM.

In addition to partnering with TRI, the BSA is working with Tri-City Aviation, Northeast State Community College, and the FAA tower to provide the participating scouts with a well-rounded aviation experience. Richard Blevins of the Northeast State Community College Aviation Department will not only teach the scouts “Aviation Ground School,” but also demonstrate preflight aircraft checks on a Cessna 172.

“With the aviation industry facing a nationwide shortage of qualified pilots and other workers, creating interest in young audiences is one way to help ensure that Northeast Tennessee defines itself as a leader in the industry. With companies like Bell and the prospects that Aerospace Park brings, it is important that students and area youth are exposed to the career opportunities the aviation industry has to offer,” said Todd Hensley, Buffalo Mountain District Chairman of the Sequoya Council, BSA and Tri-Cities Airport Authority commissioner.

On April 27, Tri-Cities Airport will be hosting a similar event with the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.


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 (beginning 9/4/19), Orland/Sanford, and St. Pete/Clearwater/Tampa) on Allegiant, American, and Delta. For more information about Tri-Cities Airport, visit