CLEVELAND, Tenn. - The new Cleveland Municipal Airport has been renamed the Cleveland Regional Jetport - at least for now.
In a meeting Friday, Municipal Airport Authority members agreed upon a name they intended to readily convey city recognition and the new facility's ability to handle jet aircraft needs.
"I was thinking that if we use the name 'Jetport,' people would know they could land jets there," said Chairwoman Lynn DeVault.
The name "Cleveland Regional" alone doesn't necessarily imply that the facility can handle a broader range of jet aircraft, DeVault said. She said that by using "Jetport" in the name, pilots wouldn't have to wonder if Hardwick Field simply had been renamed.
The airport authority also considered including words such as "Ocoee," "World" and "International" in the airfield's title. DeVault said that they ultimately needed a name for the airport's website that sounded like it belonged to something larger than a small, local airport.
Board member Leroy Rymer said that, from a pilot's perspective, it was essential to include the city in the airport name to minimize confusion. For instance, he said, pilots refer to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport by its host city, Atlanta.
DeVault said the board also could change the name again before the airport goes operational in the next 10 months.
"I'd just like a new airport," Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel said.
The jetport, located on Dry Valley Road in the Tasso community, may be completed by November 2012, according to airport board members. Officials said runway construction should start in the spring and be finished by late October, with the terminal's completion following shortly afterward.
Private funding efforts for the airport's terminal recently brought in $80,000, said Lou Patten, vice chairman for the airport board.
"Additional commitments are expected," Patten said.
The 8,000-square-foot terminal, which is designed to resemble an upscale East Tennessee chalet, will cost about $2.2 million to build, according to Patten.
The state and city are expected to contribute $350,000 each toward terminal construction costs. The project ultimately will require about $1.5 million in private donations.
The board briefly discussed the possibility of laying concrete foundations in preparation for expected hangar construction by airport tenants.
Secretary-Treasurer Verill Norwood said he thought it might be cost effective to proceed with such groundwork during airfield construction work.
Ronny Fitzgerald, vice president of PDC Consultants, said he would provide some guidelines to the airport authority before they proceed, citing water control and other maintenance concerns.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at email@example.com.