Tri-Cities Regional Airport

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Tri-Cities Regional Airport
Tri-Cities Regional Airport, TN/VA
Tri-Cities Regional Airport Logo.jpg
Tri-Cities Airport 20100115 0325.JPG
Airport type Public
Owner Tri-Cities Airport Commission
Serves Tri-Cities, Tennessee
Location Blountville, Tennessee
Elevation AMSL 1,519 ft / 463 m
Coordinates 36°28′31″N 082°24′27″W / 36.47528°N 82.40750°W / 36.47528; -82.40750
TRI is located in Tennessee
Location in Tennessee
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 8,000 2,438 Asphalt
9/27 4,442 1,354 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft operations 46,848
Based aircraft 62

Tri-Cities Regional Airport (IATA: TRIICAO: KTRIFAA LID: TRI) (Tri-Cities Regional Airport, TN/VA), is in Blountville, Tennessee and serves the Tri-Cities area (Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City) of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The airport is governed by the Tri-Cities Airport Commission (TCAC) and is owned by the cities of Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol (TN), Bristol (VA) and both Washington County (TN) and Sullivan County.

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 2011–2015 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 Regional 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; by 1977 Piedmont was operating a Boeing 737-200 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 Regional Airport covers 1,225 acres (496 ha) at an elevation of 1,519 feet (463 m) above mean sea level. 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]

In the year ending March 31, 2014 the airport had 46,484 aircraft operations, average 127 per day: 72% general aviation, 25% air taxi, 2% airline, and 1% military. 62 aircraft were then based at the airport: 58% single-engine, 21% multi-engine, 15% jet, and 6% helicopter.[1]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Scheduled passenger flights:

Airlines Destinations
Allegiant Air Orlando/Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Delta Connection Atlanta
US Airways Express1 Charlotte

^1 All US Airways Express flights will be rebranded as American Eagle effective October 17, 2015.


Carrier shares for December 2013 – November 2014[7]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Top domestic destinations (December 2013 – November 2014)[7]
Rank City Airport Passengers
1 Atlanta, GA Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) 111,290
2 Charlotte, NC Charlotte/Douglas International (CLT) 70,660
3 Sanford, FL Orlando-Sanford International (SFB) 16,680
4 St. Petersburg, FL St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) 14,020

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for TRI (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 2August 25, 2011.
  2. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. 
  5. ^ Tri-Cities Regional Airport History, accessed on September 15, 2012
  6. ^ Airport breaks ground on largest project ever, dated April 5, 2012
  7. ^ a b "Bristol/Johnson City/Kingsport, TN: Tri-Cities Regional TN/VA (TRI)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. April 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]