In 1942, the Navy established a Naval Reserve Aviation Base (later Naval Air Station) in Millington.
In 1993, the Navy transferred the airport and almost 2,000 acres of adjacent land to the City of Millington. The Millington Airport Authority and the Millington Industrial Development Board were formed to manage the properties. About 550 acres were transferred to the Airport Authority. The rest is held by the Millington IDB.
The Airport Authority consists of an eleven-member Board. Nine are appointed by the Mayor of Millington, one by the Shelby County Mayor and one by the Tipton County Executive. Members serve a 5-year term without compensation.
The Airport Authority collects rent from hangars, buildings and other space on the airport. Also, a fuel flowage fee is collected from aviation fuel sales. No City or County funds are received by the airport.
The airport contracts with Tulsair who provides a full-service aircraft maintenance facility and aircraft fueling. The airport receives building rent and a fuel flowage fee from Tulsair.
The airport has approximately 50 rental hangar spaces along with one large vacant hangar and another smaller building that we are converting to an air cargo terminal.
FedEx entered into a Commercial Flight Operation agreement with the Millington Airport Authority on February 13, 1995 to use the airport as an alternate to the Memphis International Airport in case of emergency. They pay a monthly user fee.
Funding for airport capital improvement projects comes from the TN Dept. of Transportation – Aeronautics Division. Most Aeronautics funding comes from Tennessee sales tax on aviation fuels. Tennessee is a block grant state and certain Federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds are administered to Tennessee general aviation airports through the Aeronautics Division.
The airport runway is 8,000 feet long and 200 feet wide and is one of the longest runways in Tennessee. It is stressed for 309,000 pound double-tandem aircraft. It has a full instrument landing system. The airport has an FAA contract air traffic control tower and a full-time aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) department. It meets the requirements of FAA Part 139 Index D. The airport has plenty of ramp space and is capable of handling most commercial and military aircraft currently flying.
The airport control tower is funded for 12 hours daily by the FAA Contract Tower Program but is staffed for almost 20 hours to serve FedEx. The FAA tower contractor employs seven air traffic controllers.
The airport contracts with the Millington Fire Department to provide 24-hour aircraft fire and rescue service (ARFF). It has two firefighters on duty at all times with backup from other City facilities.