PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – One of two Sumner County airports is getting a new $1.3 million terminal.
Portland Municipal worked out of a two-room terminal for decades, but increased traffic and an emphasis on attracting corporations led airport director Douglas Hunter to seek an expansion.
“Portland is known for its industrial industry,” said Hunter. “We’ve got about 50 or 60 big plants in Portland that use this airport.”
The 5,000 foot runway allows Portland Municipal to accommodate corporate jets which often carry upper level managers from several automotive companies. It also allows them to work with Macy’s department store, which has a distribution facility in northern Sumner County.
“We’re going after the corporate people,” explained Hunter. “When we have a nice place when they get off the airplane, that’s what makes them want to come [here].”
Hunter went on to say that airport traffic increases about 5 percent every year and that about 20 corporate jets arrive and depart the airport every month.
Construction on the 4,200 square foot terminal is underway and Hunter expects it to be open by the first of April.
A majority of the money to build the airport terminal is coming from federal and state tax dollars.
Hunter said he applied for several grants and when it is finished, the $1.3 million terminal will only cost about $60,000.