Wanted: New flight school at Tri-Cities Airport

Hank Hayes • Jun 24, 2017 at 4:30 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Help is wanted at Tri-Cities Airport in the pilot training department.

The former flight training instructor has retired, and Airport Authority commissioners listened to a pitch from Airport Executive Director Patrick Wilson on Thursday to restore that service.

“It relates back to growing general aviation, but there is a significant pilot shortage in the airline industry,” Wilson advised. “Flight training at airports like this is where a lot of those pilot careers start.”

Wilson said airport staff is working to lease the existing flight training office to Morristown Flying Service.

“They’ve been operating a flight school at the Morristown Airport since 1984, and since 1996 it has been owned and operated by J.B. Marshall,” Wilson told commissioners. “We continue to hear positive things about J.B. He’s a pretty well-known name in the aviation community in Tennessee. They would like to operate a flight school here. … They want to rebuild the student base that was here. … It’s going to take a little bit of time to rebuild the demand.”

The new operation, said Wilson, would be called Flying Service at Tri-Cities.

Pilot training would be offered using Cessna 182s, according to Wilson.

For more about the airport, go to www.triflight.com.

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