published Monday, August 15th, 2011

Crystal Air to relocate to Chattanooga's new Wilson Air Center

The new Wilson Air Center, located on the west side of the runway at the Chattanooga Municipal Airport, is the new fixed-base operator.
The new Wilson Air Center, located on the west side of the runway at the Chattanooga Municipal Airport, is the new fixed-base operator.
Photo by John Rawlston.

Crystal Air, a charter service located at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, will relocate its local operations from Tac Air to Wilson Air Center, officials said today.

Starting Sept. 1, Crystal Air will relocate its service to Memphis, along with on-demand charter operations and Chattanooga sightseeing flights. Earlier this month, Wilson started managing a new general aviation terminal, hangar and fuel farm funded by the airport.

“Crystal Air is bringing an innovative and unique product to the Chattanooga market,” said Dave Ivey, Wilson’s vice president.

Taylor Newman, Crystal’s director of operations, said Wilson offers “a better front-door image.”

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nucanuck said...

Wilson seems to be the beneficiary of a tax payer subsidy that puts TAC AIR at a competitive disadvantage.

August 15, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.
bobbyt said...

One person moving isn't news, so I'm not sure how this gets published. The fleecing of taxpayers to pay for this government subsidy of facilities for private aircraft owners and operators is REAL news, but somehow that fails to be reported on.

August 15, 2011 at 4:59 p.m.
ChattaDawg said...

Well, good news is President Obama won't be visiting these "Corporate Jet Owners" any time soon. I aspire to be a CJO!

August 15, 2011 at 9:54 p.m.
FactsChecker123 said...

I will say again that this article is much like the article that appeared in Sundays business section of the Times Free Press… a valiant attempt by the Airport Authority’s public relations division (using their connections with the Times Free Press thru Waterhouse Public Relations) to continue creating the appearance of separation from this waste of taxpayer’s (grant) money. The ‘news’ today in this article, with further investigation, reveals that this move of operations by Crystal Air has been in process for awhile. While Mr. Newman, Crystal’s director of operations, said Wilson offers “a better front-door image.” It is again the ‘back-door’ politics of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority and its Board of Commissioners involved in this move that needs to be revealed. Transparency… again, keep in mind the ‘new’ FBO is owned by the Airport Authority and all aircraft storage lease agreements are with the CMAA (Government Corporation), not the Wilson management group. Let’s connect some of these dots. Conversations with people in the local medical community indicate the aircraft that Crystal uses is owned by a local physician. This physician was recently the Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville and is still an associate professor in this same Graduate Department. The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority’s Board of Commissioners Vice-Chairperson is Mr. Jim Hall. Mr. Hall is currently a Trustee of the University of Tennessee with great influence and recommendation authority for promotions and directorships at the University. Transparency… again, the first (other) hangar customer referenced in Friday’s Times Free Press article is Mr. Jim Berry of Republic Parking. Republic Parking has the exclusive contract to manage all revenue generating public vehicle parking spaces at the Chattanooga airport. This ‘parking’ contract and future renewals are approved by the Airport Authority’s Board of Commissioners. Mr. Berry is a current board member of the TN Aeronautical Commission. This is the same State Government Commission that has and will approve future taxpayer (grant) money for ongoing and additional projects, like the CMAA’s FBO, at this airport. Additional note for thought, Airport Authority Vice-Chairperson, Mr. Jim Hall and Mr. Berry have been close friends for many years. Love those Sunshine Laws in the South. As Gilda Radner of SNL back in the ‘70s used to say “It’s always somethin’.”

August 16, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.
elkhart007 said...

Forget the Chattanooga airport. What a joke.

August 16, 2011 at 9 a.m.
RokinRyan said...

I know that this article is about 1 month old, but I must comment on this. The reason why Crystal Air is moving to WAC, is because TAC Air is being unreasonable with their prices. This is forcing TAC Air to bring their prices down to earth. Look at it this way, if you were looking at two apartments, both with the same amount of rooms. If apartment A (TAC Air, -subsidy) was 2x the price of apartment B (WAC, +subsidy), wouldn't you go with apartment B? Or would you go with A just because the government helped out A monetarily? TAC Air's monopoly has been forced to come to an end, which is causing them to pout. If it weren't for WAC, pilots would avoid CHA.

September 12, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.
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