The nearest main airport available for visitors flying into Loudon, Tennessee is McGhee Tyson Airport which is in Knoxville around thirty miles from the heart of Loudon City Park Area and just 10 miles south of Knoxville’s commercial center. The airport was named after a local pilot who was lost on patrol during the First World War while serving with the US Navy. It offers a commercial service provided by many of the major airline carriers as well as serving a military purpose because it is used as a base for part of the Tennessee Air National Guard.
The airport covers over 2000 acres today, at an elevated height of 981 feet above sea level and has two runways however the original site was on a much smaller 60 acres area of land until the city purchased additional land to develop it further in 1935. Since the first terminal was built, the airport has been consistently improved to include a new air traffic control tower in 1941 followed by construction of the two runways a few years later. These originally covered 5000 feet each but now measure around 9,000 since they were extended in the 1960’s, with one runway surfaced in concrete and the other in asphalt. Further additions over the decades include a new air cargo facility in 1992 and two new concourses, 12 new gates, ticket counters and a restaurant when the last major project was completed in 2000. Today, this busy airport has over 10,000 passengers flying out of it every year and has a wide range of facilities including ticket counters, security, 12 gates, restaurants shops and other services including car hire, which are split over its two levels. The upper level can be accessed via the drop off point curb side and parking garage, with the majority of passenger facilities located here with baggage claims, airline offices and rental cars on the lower level. The whole airport is very tastefully decorated in what is referred to as a Smoky Mountain theme in keeping with the region and its surroundings, with aesthetically pleasing features such as wood carvings and imitation waterfalls.
Among the scheduled passenger service operating from this airport are Allegiant Air, which services destinations across Florida, American Eagle servicing Chicago (O’Hare) and Fort Worth in Dallas, Delta Airlines for Atlanta as well as offering Connecting flights to Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis, Denver and New York. Express Jet fly from McGhee Tyson to Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark and Washington-Dulles while US Airways offer carriers to Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington-National. Some of these routes however are seasonal only so you may have to get a connecting flight rather than a direct one unless you can get a domestic flight to one of the smaller airports in the state. These include McMinn County Airport Athens, Moore-Murrell Airport Morristown and Memorial-Whitson Field Crossville which are around forty miles away or Greeneville-Greene County Municipal Airport – seventy miles away – or Asheville Regional Airport which is 85 miles further afield.