The Murfreesboro Municipal Airport has been awarded an Aeronautics Economic Development Fund grant of $1 million, the maximum grant approved from the Aeronautics Division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
The announcement came in a Jan. 10, letter from Michelle Frazier, TDOT’s director of aeronautics.
The grant will be used toward the expansion of the Middle Tennessee State University Aerospace Airport Campus. Construction will include the development of a taxiway, which will allow for aircraft to maneuver in and out of new facilities.
The MTSU Aerospace Department has experienced over 30 percent growth in the last three years. Today, over 1,000 students are enrolled in the nationally recognized program.
A recent study conducted by the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center with assistance from the MTSU Aerospace Department concluded that the MTSU Airport Campus would have to increase its hangar, briefing rooms, labs, classrooms and office space from around 44,000 square feet to over 102,000 square feet. This expansion is projected to create 11 faculty positions and 17 staff positions, including flight instructors.
The announcement comes as Murfreesboro is constructing a new Municipal Airport Terminal scheduled for completion in August. The $4.5 million airport terminal replaces the old terminal built in 1952.
The new 15,200-square-foot terminal will include a large main lobby with raised and ground-level observation areas, lounge seating, a large leasable business conference center, smaller conference room space, pilot lounge and office space.
In June 2019, the Tennessee Aeronautics Division awarded the Municipal Airport a $2 million Airport Economic Development Grant for the South Terminal Development Project.
The City of Murfreesboro is adding two full-time and one part-time position in 2020 for airport operations because of the expansion.
“Murfreesboro’s growth and the success of MTSU’s aerospace program make the Murfreesboro airport an invaluable asset to our community,” State Sen. Dawn White said. “I am pleased these funds have been approved.”
“This airport is very important to Murfreesboro, and I am glad these funds will be available to help with improvements and expansion,” State Sen. Shane Reeves. “I appreciate the work and support of local officials for helping secure this grant.”