Patrick Wilson named new airport president

The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority‘s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to hire Patrick Wilson as its new president, according to an MKAA news release.

Wilson will replace Bill Marrison, who held the position for 36 years with MKAA. Marrison will retire Dec. 31, 2018.

This will be a return to MKAA for Wilson, as he previously served as the operations manager. Most recently, Wilson served as executive director of the Tri-Cities Airport in Blountville, Tenn.

‘A natural fit’

Eddie Mannis, chairman of the MKAA Board of Commissioners, called Wilson a “natural fit for the position,” citing his economic development experience and his aviation work at the Tri-Cities Airport.

While there, Wilson led the creation of a 160-acre on-airport aerospace industry park that resulted in $40 million of site infrastructure. He also initiated and secured funding for $110 million in capital improvements to renovate and expand airport facilities, the release said.

“And the fact that he had McGhee Tyson ties, he did know the lay of the land, that made him the perfect candidate,” Mannis said. “When we interviewed him, you could tell he’d be very supportive of staff, he’d work well with staff, and that was very important to us. The board just saw him as the well rounded package to lead the Knoxville airport into the future.”

Wilson will also focus on recruiting additional service into the airport, Mannis said.

Aviation industry expertise

Wilson graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and received a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. He is designated through the American Association of Airport Executives as an Accredited Airport Executive and certified as an Airport Security Coordinator.

He has served as president of the Tennessee Association of Air Carrier Airports and serves on the University of Tennessee’s Aerospace and Defense Advisory Board since 2015. He was also appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to serve on the Tennessee Aviation Funding Task Force from 2015-2016 and is the president-elect of the AAAE Southeast Chapter.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Cortney Roark

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit


Published September 6, 2018