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Economic Development News

Posted on: September 9, 2021

New Life for WW2 Hangar

Michael and Meagan Williamson in front of WW2 Hangar they are restoring.

The old World War II-era hangar at the Tullahoma Municipal Airport has been sold to a new company that will refurbish the hangar and utilize it to house 3 new businesses for the Tullahoma Area.

The announcement of the sale of the hangar was made today by Lynchburg Machine Tool. Inc. CEO Mike Williamson, along with City, Airport, and local economic development officials.

The nearly $ 1 million project will consist of three new companies, with the expansion of Lynchburg Machine Tool’s operations from nearby Moore County.  In addition to the machining operations, Williamson will be offering hangar space for corporate and general aviation aircraft. General maintenance will be available to locally-stationed aircraft, as well as transient planes.

Plans are also being developed for an FAA repair station, pending FAA approval. An existing flight school on the field, Tullahoma Aviation Company (TAC), will be located in the facility offering flight training for private and commercial pilots.

The company will be renaming the facility that is being located to the Tullahoma Airport to reflect its new location.  The new name will be released soon.

Williamson reiterated that he planned to restore the 75-year-old facility to as much of its original look as possible.

“We want to restore, as closely as possible, the outside of the building to its original look, while adding interior buildouts that will upgrade the capabilities for our new operations,” he stated.

The news of the project was great news for Tullahoma Municipal Airport. TMA Airport Manager Jon Glass was enthusiastic about the approval of the project.

“We believe that this project will not only restore one of our Airport’s iconic images, but will offer additional needed services to our customers for years to come,” Glass stated.

Tullahoma Mayor Ray Knowis also applauded the project announcement and congratulated Williamson for his investment in the community.

“Mike Williamson, with this big investment, is not only creating three new companies and adding 10 to12 people, but is saving a historic building that is a large reminder of our early involvement in the aviation sector,” Knowis stated.

“The World War II hangar is symbolic of the beginnings of our new economy, and I am so happy that it will be saved and refurbished,” he added.

Williamson also thanked local First Vision bank which provided financing for the project.

“Matt Layton of First Vision, along with Eddie Fitzgerald of the South-Central Tennessee Development District (SCTDD), were instrumental in arranging the financing for the project, and we wouldn’t be doing this deal without them,” Williamson said.”

Williamson also thanked the building’s current owners, the Harton Family Partnership, and its general manager, Joe Lester.

“Joe really bought into our vision for what we wanted to do to utilize the building and worked with us to structure an equitable deal for us to be able to move forward,” Williamson said.

“It was obvious to me that he was not just selling a piece of real estate but wanted to see someone purchase it who would be able to keep the history of the building alive for many years to come,” he added.

The Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation (TAEDC) congratulated Williamson and all local leaders, and expressed belief that this project is a symbol of many people working together.

TAEDC Board Chairman Lynn Sebourn was especially excited to learn of the announcement of the new hangar project.

“We have worked since our Board’s formation in 2011 to help guide and direct a growing local and regional economy,” Sebourn said.

One of the four main areas of our work plan is to help attract and grow businesses in the aviation and aerospace sectors, and this project is a symbol of the types of investment we want to have,” Sebourn added.

“Special thanks to Mike Williamson and his team for this tremendous investment in our community’s future,” he concluded.

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