CLEVELAND, TN. (WRCB) -- Cleveland's
old airport will soon be replaced by a new, larger, more modern jetport.
Construction is slightly behind
schedule, but when the ribbon is finally cut, and aircraft wheels begin to
roll, city leaders hope this modern transportation hub will help the area
attract and hold on to business opportunities.
"Of course, modern industry requires modern transportation," says Cleveland
Mayor Tom Roland.
The new Cleveland Regional Jetport will finally take the city and Bradley County
Anticipation and expectations
grow as construction continues on the runway, taxiways, a new hangar, and the
"We're building a brand new, 8,000 plus square foot terminal here," says
With a price tag of nearly $43 million, everything will be bigger and better
than at Hardwick Field, which sits just more than three miles
"That airport is essentially landlocked," Fidler says. "There is no
further real estate available for lengthening of the runway."
Runway length is important. It determines the size and variety of aircraft that
can fly in and out.
"This runway is 5500 feet in length," Fidler says.
That can accommodate props and
"The length of the field we have now will actually readily accommodate
over 85 percent of aircraft that are currently flying," says Fidler.
That's an important factor when recruiting
Another bragging right: no
tower. Pilots follow standard aviation procedures, making arrivals and
departures more convenient.
"This will be a much more safe and efficient airport," says Fidler.
It may draw some private and
corporate traffic from Chattanooga.
And, it's been a long time
Mayor Tom Roland says he's fought
for a new airport through his 21 years in office.
The two prior mayors worked for
it as well. And, he adds, the region nearly lost out on previous un-named
business deals for lack of it.
"It's just going to be a
different complexion, I think, for what we see in Cleveland and Bradley County,"
State and federal grants and
airport improvement funds are paying for about 90 percent of this more than $40
To fund the balance, they hope
the sale of the old airport will bring in a million dollars. They are lining up
donors for the rest.
The opening date has been pushed
to the first or second week of December.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 10:35 PM EDT2013-06-20 02:35:27 GMT
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