When it came to new and old business, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority Board of Commissioners were unanimous on every vote.
The monthly meeting for September was Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. in a large ballroom at the Hilton, Knoxville Airport. A group of influential community members sat around the tables that had been formed into a “U,” listened to presentations and voted.
Todd Simmons, President of Customer Experience with Cirrus Aircraft, gave a brief and energetic presentation about what his company has done for Knox and Blount Counties, what the counties have done for his company and what they could both do with a continued, strong partnership.
Cirrus is an aircraft manufacturer that manufactures and delivers from Knoxville.
Later in the meeting, the board voted to allot Cirrus responsibility for three new hangers at the airport, which will take up about 3 acres. Patrick Wilson, one of the nine board members, said he’s “excited to see the continued growth of the Cirrus Campus.”
Afterward, the board participated in a series of votes pertaining to internal adjustments and external investments.
One of the internal adjustments included their procurement policy, which is a standard for decision-making. The new policy will allow larger monetary decisions to be made without having to bring a vote to the board. Board members said they needed something more modern, since it hadn’t changed much since 1999.
It should also speed along decision-making for less expensive but necessary changes, they said.
A human resources firm made a presentation for another vote raised to the board. They voted in favor of using the firm, which will be responsible for consulting and keeping the airports’ employees’ pay competitive.
Becky Huckaby, Vice President of Public Relations, presented a makeover of Downtown Island Airport’s website, which she hopes will launch in October. She said new features will hopefully accelerate tourism in the area.
One of the last speakers of the night, Brian Shutt, talked about the Tuskegee Next Program. It is based in Chicago and started in 2015 as an initiative to introduce “at-risk” youth to careers as pilots.
“Take them from 0 to pilot,” Shutt said, adding that in the coming years, the demand for pilots will increase.