The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, (MKAA), was established in 1978 as an independent nonprofit agency to own and operate McGhee Tyson Airport and Downtown Island Airport located in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Authority's nine-member Board of Commissioners is appointed by the Mayor of Knoxville and confirmed by City Council. The Board of Commissioners set the policies for over 140 employees in six departments. The board appoints a President who serves as the chief administrator and executive officer. All revenues are generated by user fees and rental income - no taxpayer dollars are used to support airport operations.
McGhee Tyson Airport is the premier air facility in East Tennessee. Daily, the airport handles commercial airline, air cargo, military aviation and general aviation air traffic. With parallel 9,000 feet runways, McGhee Tyson Airport can accommodate any size aircraft in today's inventory. Located 12 miles south of downtown Knoxville, the airport occupies more than 2,000 acres of land with space for additional air cargo facilities or economic development.
In January 2006, MKAA took over the management of Downtown Island Airport (DKX) - Knoxville's most successful general aviation airport. Located adjacent to the Downtown Knoxville and University of Tennessee, DKX handles over 3000 operations a year and has nearly 150 aircraft based on the island.
The airport is home to one fixed base operator TAC Air. In addition to providing fuel and services to commercial carriers, they also accommodate the general aviation industry, which includes corporate aviation, charter flights, flight schools and people who fly as a hobby.
In 1991, the Air Cargo Complex was completed by the Airport Authority, providing a 21-acre facility for Federal Express, UPS and Airborne Express. Each of these carriers were provided a building designed to meet their specific needs, along with almost 430,000 square feet of aircraft apron areas and more than 200,000 square feet of vehicular parking areas. The total cost for the construction project was $9.3 million. Federal Express and United Parcel Express together account for almost 90 percent of the air freight market at McGhee Tyson Airport.
The Tennessee Air National Guard's 134th Air Refueling Group operates out of McGhee Tyson Airport. The Guard's KC-135E tankers provide refueling to the country's military aircraft and also played a very instrumental role in Desert Storm. In addition, the Army Aviation Support Facility, the 110th and 119th Tactical Control Squadrons and the 228th Combat Communications Squadron operate on the base.
The direct and indirect economic impact of McGhee Tyson Airport, including payroll, local spending, transportation cost savings, capital spending and induced benefits is estimated at $1 billion annually. The jobs formed by the aviation industry are perhaps the most important direct benefit that McGhee Tyson Airport offers East Tennessee. Approximately 2,700 people are now employed at McGhee Tyson Airport.
McGhee Tyson Airport completed a $70 million renovation and expansion project of its main terminal and concourses in the fall of 2000. The project included the construction of two new concourses, gates, ticket counters, elevators and escalators, administrative offices, passenger loading bridges, restrooms, gift shops and the first Ruby Tuesday airport restaurant in the nation. The addition of an 115 foot indoor mountain stream added a natural element to a beautiful new facility that will serve Knoxville and East Tennessee well into the next century.
McGhee Tyson Airport has 7 major airlines serving 21 non-stop destinations including Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Orlando, New York, Chicago, Denver and Washington D.C. With more than 120 arrivals and departures each day and more than 4,000 seats available, McGhee Tyson Airport is one of the most convenient and accessible regional airports in the nation.
Board of Commissioners
Get to know the members of the MKAA leadership team.
Access our most current working documents.
Request for Business
Download current requests for proposal and other MKAA business forms.
We're looking for the best and brightest! Find open job postings here.