Tri-Cities Regional Airport

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Tri-Cities Airport

Tri-Cities Airport, TN/VA
Tri-Cities Airport Logo.png
Tri-Cities Airport 20100115 0325.JPG
Airport typePublic
OwnerTri-Cities Airport Authority
ServesTri-Cities, Tennessee
LocationBlountville, Tennessee, U.S.
Elevation AMSL1,519 ft / 463 m
Coordinates36°28′31″N 082°24′27″W / 36.47528°N 82.40750°W / 36.47528; -82.40750Coordinates: 36°28′31″N 082°24′27″W / 36.47528°N 82.40750°W / 36.47528; -82.40750
TRI is located in Tennessee
TRI is located in the United States
TRI (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 8,000 2,438 Asphalt
9/27 4,442 1,354 Asphalt
Aircraft operations (2014)46,848
Based aircraft (2017)60

Tri-Cities Airport (IATA: TRI, ICAO: KTRI, FAA LID: TRI) (also known as Tri-Cities Airport, TN/VA), is in Blountville, Tennessee, United States. It serves the Tri-Cities area (Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City) of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The airport is governed by the Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) whose members are appointed by the cities of Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol (TN), Bristol (VA) and both Washington County (TN) and Sullivan County (TN).

Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 202,730 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[2] 217,783 in 2009 and 202,114 in 2010.[3] The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).[4]


In the mid-1930s Johnson City's airfield and Kingsport's airstrip were deemed not practical for expansion. Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport cooperated with Sullivan County to build an airport on 323 acres in Sullivan County, between the three cities. In September 1937, two small runways, a terminal building, and aircraft hangar had been built and the airport saw its first airliner, an American Airlines DC-2. On November 5, 1937, McKellar Field, now known as Tri-Cities Airport TN/VA, was dedicated by Senator Kenneth McKellar.[5]

American Airlines pulled out in 1952. Piedmont Airlines flew to TRI from 1948 until it merged into USAir; Capital Airlines and successor United Airlines stopped at TRI from the 1940s until 1977 when Allegheny Airlines replaced them. Southern Airways appeared in 1960. The first jets were Piedmont Boeing 727-100s and Southern Douglas DC-9-10s in 1967; in 1977 a Piedmont Boeing 737-200 was flying nonstop to New York LaGuardia Airport.

In January 2008 a quick service restaurant, Tailwind Express, was added in the post-security area of the airport along with the Tailwind Restaurant and Lounge in the pre-security area. In April 2012 the airport broke ground on a $10 million project that would lengthen a taxiway and move a road farther away from the airport, opening 140 acres for future development.[6]


Tri-Cities Airport covers 1,250 acres (506 ha) at an elevation of 1,519 feet (463 m). It has two asphalt runways: 5/23 is 8,000 by 150 feet (2,438 x 46 m) and 9/27 is 4,442 by 150 feet (1,354 x 46 m).[1][7]

For the year ending March 31, 2014 the airport had 46,484 aircraft operations, an average of 127 per day: 72% general aviation, 25% air taxi, 2% airline and 1% military. In March 2017, there were 60 aircraft based at this airport: 20 single-engine, 22 multi-engine, 13 jet and 5 helicopter.[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Allegiant Air Orlando/Sanford
Seasonal: St. Petersburg/Clearwater[8]
American Eagle Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta ConnectionAtlanta


Largest airlines at TRI (August 2019 - July 2020)[9]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Piedmont Airlines 81,890 26.51%
2 SkyWest Airlines 72,290 23.41%
3 Delta Air Lines 45,800 14.83%
4 Envoy Air 35,670 11.55%
5 Endeavor Air 34,050 11.02%
6 Other 39,170 12.68%

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from TRI (August 2019 - July 2020)[9]
Rank Airport Passengers Airline
1 Atlanta, Georgia 75,000 Delta
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 50,000 American
3 Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas 14,000 American
4 Orlando/Sanford, Florida 13,000 Allegiant
4 St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida 2,000 Allegiant

Accidents and incidents[edit]


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Form 5010 for TRI PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective Mar 2, 2017.
  2. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
  5. ^ [1], accessed on September 15, 2012
  6. ^ Airport breaks ground on largest project ever, dated April 5, 2012
  7. ^ "TRI airport data at". Retrieved September 27, 2022.
  8. ^ "Find cheap flights to and from your city | Allegiant Interactive Route Map".
  9. ^ a b "Bristol/Johnson City/Kingsport, TN: Tri-Cities TN/VA (TRI)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. April 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2017.

External links[edit]