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Airport resolution passes after much turbulence
Airport Resolution Passes-Lee.jpg
Commissioner Ron Lee says the Economic and Agricultural Development Committee was capable of deciding the committee member to serve on the Airport Commission. - photo by Bethany Porter

After months of discussion, the Warren County Commission finally got a new airport resolution off the ground. 

At the month meeting Monday night, commissioners voted on the resolution establishing and creating the Warren County Memorial Airport Commission and Office of the Director of the Warren County Memorial Airport. The airport was previously operating on a resolution from 1947 and when authority questions arose, it needed to be updated. 

The new resolution states: “The Director shall be an employee of Warren County, Tennessee and shall be subordinate to the Commission. Discipline and/or Termination of the Director shall be a power of the Commission. The County Executive shall have the power to immediately place the Director on administrative leave at any point in time when the County Executive determines such action to be necessary and in such an event the Commission shall meet as expeditiously as possible to determine the appropriate steps to take, if any, regarding the Director.”

Commissioner Steven Helton thought the resolution said the director is subordinate to the County Executive and questioned Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin on it. 

“He is not subordinate to the County Executive alone. He is subordinate to the Airport Commission, which the County Executive will sit upon,” said Bouldin. 

The resolution says the director has full operational control and authority over the airport, but is subordinate to the Airport Commission. The resolution also explained the seven people in the committee who are: the County Executive, chairman of Budget and Finance, a member of Economic and Agricultural Development, two licensed active pilots, and two licensed pilots.  

The commission also voted on the Airport Commission appointees at it passed unanimously. 

“We have seven very qualified individuals to serve on this committee,” said Bouldin. 

The Airport Commission will be comprised of County Executive Jimmy Haley, Budget and Finance chair Scott Rubley, Econ and Ag member Brad Hillis, active pilot Kevin Heusinkfeld, active pilot Ryan Blackford, active pilot Mike Corley, and active pilot Jason Cripps. 

Heusinkfeld is a retired military pilot and past flight instructor. Blackford is a Jet Blue pilot and Cripps is a retired airline and military pilot. Corley is the only member from the previous Airport Commission to return. Bouldin says the others were asked.