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|Governor Bredesen Announces Opening of New Beech River Airport
First newly constructed Tennessee airport in almost 20 years
Nashville, Tenn.—Tennessee’s first newly constructed airport to open in almost twenty years is now up and running.
Governor Phil Bredesen, TDOT officials, legislators and local officials attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony today,
officially opening Beech River Regional Airport in Darden, Tennessee.
“This opening of this airport is an exciting development that will help move our general aviation transportation system
in Tennessee forward,” said Governor Bredesen. “This project reflects the successful collaboration between five governmental
agencies working together for the benefit of this region and this community.”
The airport includes approximately 400 acres of property in Henderson County. It consists of a 4,000 foot terminal building,
10,000 square foot maintenance hangar, and 24 T-hangar units which will service business, corporate and personal aircraft.
The airport also has a lighted runway and taxiway along with modern navigational aids. It is one of only six general
aviation airports in Tennessee that have 6,000 feet or more of runways. A full-length, parallel taxiway was also
included in the design for increased safety.
“This is an important day as we strive to expand all modes of our transportation network in Tennessee to meet the needs
of the future,” reported TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “I’m pleased TDOT’s Aeronautics Division was able to assist in
molding this project into what we see here today.”
“This project is the result of an incredible team effort,” said Senator Roy Herron. “The Beech River Regional Airport
was initiated and designed with the inception of the Beech River Airport Authority, and the collaboration of five
governmental entities consisting of the cities of Lexington and Parsons, and the counties of Henderson and Decatur,
along with the state of Tennessee.
“The facility should provide an economic boost to our region by presenting a myriad of new business opportunities,”
stated Representative Randy Rinks.
“It is so exciting to see this project become reality,” said Representative Steve McDaniel. “So many people worked so
hard to make this happen. I was thrilled to be a part of it.”
Construction on the facility began in 2002, according to Randall Little, the Chairman of the Henderson
County Airport Authority which will oversee the new airport. “It was designed and built as a general
aviation airport; it was not formerly a military base. The airport is constructed entirely of concrete
to ensure additional longevity and increased capacity to accommodate aircraft as large as a Gulfstream V.