John-Paul ("J.P.") Saalwaechter, P.E.
Director of Aeronautics
7335 Centennial Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37209
The Aeronautics Division supports, promotes, and delivers services that encourage and enhance a sustainable, efficient and safe air transportation system in Tennessee. The division provides financial and technical assistance to publicly owned airport operators for the planning, development, promotion, construction and operation of public-use airports throughout the state. Other engineering and planning services include aviation planning studies, environmental planning and compliance assistance, airport geographic information system (AGIS) studies, and project design consultation services to state public-use airports. Additionally, the Aeronautics Division administers and programs both state and federal funding for Airport Capital Improvement Plan (ACIP) projects in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations. The division is also responsible for annual airport safety and maintenance inspections, maintaining a statewide airport system plan, promoting aviation education throughout the state, and providing flight services to all branches of state government.
Tennessee's 77 public-use airports are critical components of the nation's and state's transportation networks, linking and providing access to regional, national and global transportation systems. Tennessee's unique geographic location in the middle of the country provides convenient business and logistics access to domestic and global markets. In fact, Tennessee is home to FedEx World Hub at Memphis International Airport, the nation and world's busiest cargo airport, as well as Nashville International Airport, the nations fastest growing medium hub commercial service airport . Aviation infrastructure and related aeronautical activities throughout Tennessee are vital part of the state's infrastructure network contributing an estimated $40 billion in total economic activity annually to the state's economy; representing associated tax revenues of $1.12 billion and supporting 220,936 jobs in aviation related industries. Additionally, many of Tennessee's 77 total General Aviation airports are integral to the growth and economic opportunity of many community-based manufacturers and businesses throughout the state, granting those businesses access to global markets.
The mission of the Aeronautics Division is to provide Tennessee with a quality, integrated aviation system that is safe, efficient, economical and sensitive to environmental concerns, serves the needs of local communities; and, provides state government with safe, professional, courteous flight services in an efficient, comfortable manner.