KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — McGhee Tyson Airport will soon be working on infrastructure improvements to meet the needs of a growing region according to a spokesperson for the airport.
As East Tennessee continues to grow, more people need to travel to and from the area. McGhee Tyson Airport spokesperson Caitlin Darras says airlines are keeping up with that growth and the airport is looking to do the same.
According to Darras, the airlines have added new destinations and new flights. They are also using bigger airplanes. She added that last month was the busiest month in the airport’s history. During peak times, Darras said they are seeing planes and parking garages being 90% full on average, and July is historically the airport’s busiest month.
“Our goal at the airport authority is to make traveling out of McGhee Tyson airport convenient for the travelers, and so we are going to start that process from the parking areas all the way to the gate just to improve that passenger experience for our travelers,” Darras said.
The addition of six new gates to the concourse is in the planning phases with a target completion date of 2028.
To accommodate the increasing number of travelers, McGhee Tyson is expanding its parking garage, starting at the beginning of 2024. Darras said the expansion will add roughly 3,500 parking spots when it is completed in 2026.
“In order to keep up with this growth, keep up with the demand, we are hitting the ground running with construction projects,” said Darras.
While the construction is still in the preliminary planning phase, construction on roadways, in parking areas and in the terminal may affect terminals for travelers over the next few years, Darras explained. She said McGhee Tyson will do all that it can to communicate ahead of time what that process will look like for travelers.
Currently, five airlines offer flights to and from McGhee Tyson: American Airlines, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier Airlines, and United. According to the airport’s website, flights are nonstop to more than 25 destinations, including Detroit, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Dallas, and Boston. Travelers can also check ahead to see the approximate wait time to get through the TSA checkpoint and how full parking lots are on the McGhee Tyson Airport website.