The state will contribute $73,125 and the city of Cleveland will pay $24,375 in local matching funds.
The business plan will help airport authority members decide on how much to charge for hangar space. That price is needed before many pilots will commit to storing their planes at the new airport.
Other grant recipients included: Greeneville-Greene County Airport, $88,695 in state funds and $9,855 local, for a total of $98,550; Henry County Airport, $36,000 in state funds and $4,000 local for a total of $40,000; Maury County Regional Airport, $76,500 in state funds and $8,500 totaling $85,000; and Winchester Municipal Airport, $155,250 in state funds, $17,250 for a total of $172,500.
The airport authority is expected to sign an agreement with Barbara Fritsche, Fritsche Consulting of Fort Thomas, Ky., at its next meeting on Sept. 16. Before the next meeting, airport authority members expect to have surveyed 10 airports serving communities of similar size to determine hangar fees at the new facility on Michigan Avenue Road. The number of community and T-hangars the airport authority builds depends on money. How much money depends partly on the sale of Hardwick Field.
Fritsche was recommended by PDC Consultants, the design and engineering firm overseeing airport construction. In June, she presented to the airport authority an overview of what should be included in a business plan, which she described as a “big picture or strategy document that talks about how to operate the airport and maximize your revenue stream.”
Depending on the authority’s preferences, the document could contain specifics about airport management, organization, standards and policies that could be a useful resource when difficult decisions are needed.
The first step is to form a mission and vision statement that sets the bar for airport operations in the foreseeable future. It can be used to establish a financial performance baseline.
A business plan is also an organizational and management guide for defining whether the airport would be managed by a fixed base operator, a private company or by the airport authority. The document could also include a customer development plan and an economic impact study to show the actual value of the airport to the community.
The airport authority will seek construction funds for the runway and apron areas from TDOT on Sept. 22.
TDOT Aeronautics Division administers federal and state funding to assist in the location, design, construction and maintenance of Tennessee’s diverse public aviation system.
The TDOT Aeronautics Division has the responsibility of inspecting and licensing the state’s 126 heliports and 75 public/general aviation airports. The Division also provides aircraft and related services for state government and staffing for the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission.