Smyrna Airport, Expanding Airport Business Model
Smyrna Airport, with Executive Director John Black at the helm, is expanding as an airport business model in Tennessee. They are utilizing the land around them, bringing in new businesses to the airport, the community and state. In 2012 they opened a one-megawatt solar farm to save the airport money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.
The airport recently landed a $330,000 grant from the Rutherford County Industrial Development Board to help complete an expansion project that should provide at least 50 jobs. Black said the project will include a 15,000-square-foot office, a 29,000-square-foot hangar, upgrades to existing hangars and infrastructure and site work to get a 40-acre field ready for a potential aviation factory or office.
Black received the Achievement in Airport Stewardship award from the AOPA Foundation for his efforts to connect the local community to the airport through regular presentations to civic organizations and other airport groups.
2012 Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees
Each year the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame inducts four outstanding Tennesseans who have made enduring contributions to aviation. The 2012 inductees are as follows:
Robert E. “Bob” Minter, Sr., is a staunch advocate for general aviation, an accomplished aviation policy strategist, marketing and technical consultant. He has served numerous aviation technical and advisory groups throughout the Southeast; co-founded the Tennessee Aviation Association and founded the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame. He was the Director of Development and Operations for the TDOT-Bureau of Aeronautics where he oversaw the development of airports across Tennessee. He has represented AOPA for more than 35 years and is currently employed as AOPA’s Southern Region Manager in eight states in the Southeast.
Gen. Bruce K. Holloway, USAF commanded the U.S. Air Forces in Europe in July 1965 until his appointment as vice chief of staff of the U. S. Air Force on August 1, 1966, and later served as Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Air Command from 1968-1972. As commander of the Air Force’s first jet-equipped fighter group in 1946, Gen. Holloway performed pioneer service in this new field of tactical jet air operations. He was a fighter pilot with the famed “Flying Tigers” of the American Volunteer Group during World War II. During his tour in China, he earned status as a fighter ace.
Morris W. Ray, M.D., was a flight surgeon flying medical missions during his tour in the U. S. Army. His research with the Federal Aviation Administration on the effects of flight on the neurological systems of the human body has greatly benefited the aviation community across the United States. Morris has competed and performed as an aerobatic pilot. He continues his dedication to aviation as a formation and safety training specialist, instructor and check pilot for the Commemorative Air Force, designated pilot examiner for the Memphis Flight Service District Office and chief flight instructor at Downtown Aviation in Memphis, Tennessee.
Joseph R. Fleeman is renowned for his expertise in restoring and rebuilding antique aircraft. He has won numerous awards for his meticulous craftsmanship. His passion for perfection is also reflected in his flight instruction. He has former students across the globe that share the same passion for aviation.