“I have always said we’re the largest welcome center in Wilson County and its owned by the city,” said Lebanon Municipal Airport manager Heather Bay.
Bay, who is approaching 10 years as the airport’s manger, said much has changed with the airport since she took the job.
“In 2008, we were small. We were tiny. We had 5,800 operations that year. We’re looking at 27,000 operations last year. That’s how much we’ve grown. It’s not just the frequent flyer or the guy who wants to get up on the weekends and fly anymore,” Bay said. “The volume and mass of customers who walk through our brand new terminal doors is the corporate company that’s doing business in this community.”
The growing demand for the airport was a major factor in the development of the terminal, which features the Lebanon Airport Commission’s office, a pilots’ lounge, corporate conference rooms, a quiet room, along with the Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board headquarters, Class Bravo Air and additional corporate office space.
The terminal was the first major piece in the airport’s west side development, which will kick into high gear this year.
West side development
“There is excitement for the progress ahead for the new west side developments of the airfield,” Bay said.
Construction currently taking place on the airfield’s west side includes a 12,600-square-foot maintenance hangar and corporate aircraft hangar.
“For the past 10 or 20 years, west side development has been a dream of airport and city leaders and we’re excited about the future of this side of the field,” Bay said.
Bay said the South Hartmann Drive Gateway Study allowed airport leaders the opportunity to meet with residents and business owners about the airport and future development, which includes a new entrance to the site.
The Lebanon City Council approved a bid last month for the construction of Aviation Boulevard, which would connect South Hartmann Drive to the new Lebanon Municipal Airport terminal building.
“There have been numerous meetings in the development of a new, formal entrance for the airfield to meet the demands and vision for the new terminal and west side development,” Bay said. “We have to thank Glenn Wilson and W.P. Bone, who are the developers of Lebanon Marketplace, for allowing us to come through their property.”
Quality and safety
“We are a vital form of transportation. Not everyone in our community utilizes our services, but we all benefit from it,” Bay said. “Direct Flight Solutions is providing the path of transportation to be greeted with quality service. The city, county, airport commission and Direct Flight Solutions are raising the bar for our airfield to meet the demands this community is facing. We are not looking to take business from the Nashville Metropolitan Airport. We are trying to utilize this transportation facility in the safest and most efficient form possible for the community, businesses and individuals.”