published Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Terminal plans for new Cleveland, Tenn., airport unveiled

By Paul Leach
This is a conceptual digital image of the proposed terminal for the new Cleveland, Tenn., airport at night.
This is a conceptual digital image of the proposed terminal for the new Cleveland, Tenn., airport at night.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Plans for Cleveland's new airport include an 8,000-square-foot terminal that resembles an upscale East Tennessee chalet.

Blueprints and conceptual digital renderings of the terminal met with approval from the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority on Friday.

"It's a beautiful front door for Cleveland," said Lou Patten, secretary-treasurer for the board.

The terminal's design is intended to capture a lodge atmosphere while providing the technical functionality required by airport operators and pilots, architect Stephen Carroll said.

"It is unique to the state of Tennessee," he said of the design.

The expected cost will be about $1.5 million, Patten said in a report to the airport authority.

The state and the city are expected to fund $700,000 of that amount, with each contributing half, according to Patten. City Manager Janice Casteel will appear before the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission next week to secure the money, officials said.

The remaining $800,000 will be obtained privately, Patten said. Fund raising plans will be addressed later.

Plans for the airport's paved runways are well under way, both in regard to site readiness and funding, officials said.

Preparation for the runway is about "95 percent complete," Mark Paslick, vice president of PDC Consultants, said in his report to the board. He also said that the site weathered the heavy rains on Labor Day quite well.

"All of our controls work; everything held," said Paslick, saying no silt left the airport construction area to muddy local creeks.

Casteel also will seek $5 million from the aeronautics commission for the runway next week, airport authority Chairwoman Lynn DeVault said.

Despite possible cuts in federal funding, which the commission combines with state money and funnels to local airport authorities, DeVault said she does not foresee any problems with money expected for the terminal and runway.

The board also reviewed preliminary feedback from Hardwick Field hangar tenants in regard to the types of hangars they would like to use at the new airfield.

Paslick told the board that none of the responses were "hard data," and that a number of hangar tenants made conditional requests, depending on what the new airport plans to offer. Some preferred communal hangars, while others cited box or T-shaped hangars, the consultant said.

DeVault urged all hangar tenants to give PDC Consultants as much information as they could, as it would help the airport authority in its ongoing efforts to perfect its business plan.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at paul.leach.press@gmail.com.

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