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Aerospace / Aviation


A well-trained and experienced workforce and a competitive business climate make the East Tennessee region an ideal location for the aviation industry.

McGhee Tyson Airport, East Tennessee’s regional airport located in Knoxville, is currently served by 5 airlines and has direct service to 21 destinations.  McGhee Tyson is not a hub and has two 9,000’ runways and developable property. 

Our excellent geographic location at the juncture of I-40, I-75 and I-85 as well as access to ports on the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico provides easy exporting of replacement parts for the many US-made airplanes that are being used and serviced abroad, as well as aircraft engines and parts

An air national guard base with over 2,100 civilian and military personnel, many of them highly skilled aircraft technicians, is adjacent to to the airport.

There is a Tennessee College of Applied Technology that offers an aviation maintenance technology program, assuring a constant supply of trained workers.  Certificates are awarded for airframe mechanic and powerplant mechanic and a diploma is awarded for aviation maintenance technician.

The airport is also home to several key businesses in the aerospace industry such as ExpressJet Services, LLC, a maintenance facility with over 200 employees, Pinnacle/Delta Connection MRO with more than 50 employees and Standard Aero, a company that overhauls and rebuilds aircraft engines and employs more than 275 people.

Business Climate
Pro-business environment - Favorable business tax climate consistently in the top 1/3 of U.S. states

  • Attractive state, local, and utility incentives for new job creation and capital investment
  • State taxes ranking among the nation's lowest
    • No state property tax
    • Competitive corporate taxes
    • Available targeted jobs tax credit
  • Competitive gas, water, and sewer rates
    • Electricity generated by the Tennessee Valley Authority at rates 13% below the U.S. industrial average
    • Electricity reliability at 99.999% since 2000
    • Abundant water supply
    • Gas by East Tennessee Natural Gas
  • Available Buildings and Sites
    • Building costs 19% below the national average (RSMeans Construction Index 2015)
    • Competitive lease rates
  • Right-to-work state


  • Flexible, growing workforce of 550,000 in 15-county region
  • Workforce of 780,000 in 32 laborshed counties
  • Over 3,600 civilian and military technicians
  • Morristown Tennessee College of Applied Technology has an Aviation Maintenance Technology program 
  • Manufacturing workforce of 49,000 at costs 7% below the U.S. average
  • More than 5,000 engineers
  • Customized workforce training
  • Transferable skill sets
  • Competitive workers compensation rates
  • FastTrack Job Training Assistance Program with training to quickly provide skilled workers
  • Four Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and three community colleges in region


  • Located at juncture of three major interstates: I-40, I-75, and I-81
  • 70% of the US market within a day's drive
  • Regional airport offers more than 125 flights daily to 20 major U.S. destinations
  • Rail service by Norfolk Southern, CSX, and local short-line railroads
  • Barge service on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway System
  • US Customs Port of Entry and Foreign Trade Zone designation
  • Easy access to deepwater ports on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts


  • Home of the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Technology Corridor
  • Access to technology research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the world's premier laboratory in advanced materials
  • 16 user facilities across multiple disciplines
  • National Transportation Research Center (NTRC)
  • Main campus of the University of Tennessee