Wilson Named New President of the MKAA

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (August 31, 2018)– The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority’s (MKAA) Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to hire Patrick Wilson, Patrick WilsonA.A.E., as president effective mid-November 2018.  Wilson will replace William F. “Bill” Marrison, who is retiring on December 31, 2018, after 36 years of service to the organization and the traveling public of East Tennessee.

“On behalf of the airport’s Board of Commissioners, we are grateful to Bill for his years of dedication to our airport system,” said Eddie Mannis, Chairman of the MKAA Board of Commissioners. “It was under his leadership that McGhee Tyson Airport has broken annual passenger records, attracted new businesses such as Cirrus Aircraft, attracted new airlines and created hundreds of jobs for our community.”

“The MKAA Board of Commissioners knew that finding someone to follow Bill Marrison as President would be a monumental undertaking,” said Mannis.  “Patrick is a natural fit for the position with his proven track record of strong leadership, team building and capital improvement execution.   He is well respected within the aviation industry and we are confident he will continue to take our airport to the next level with his focus on customer experience, strategic partnerships and economic development.”

With over 25 years of aviation experience, an established relationship with state and federal aviation officials and a clear understanding of legislative issues facing Tennessee airports, Wilson understands what is needed to be successful at MKAA. In his most recent position as executive director at the Tri-Cities Airport in Blountville, TN, Wilson developed the vision and made strategic partnerships to create a 160 acre on-airport aerospace industry park that resulted in $40 million of site infrastructure. He has initiated and secured funding for $110 million in capital improvements to modernize and expand facilities at the airport in the airfield, terminal, general aviation, and air cargo areas. Prior to leading the Tri-Cities Airport, Wilson was MKAA Operations Manager where he gained a strong understanding of the inter-workings of McGhee Tyson Airport.

Wilson graduated top of his class from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Master of Business in Aviation and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned the Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) designation from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).  He has also been AAAE certified as an Airport Security Coordinator (ASC), attended the Advanced Airport Operations Specialist School and is an Airport Certified Employee (ACE).

In addition, Wilson is a proven and well respected leader in the aviation industry. Since 2015, he has served as the President of the Tennessee Association of Air Carrier Airports and serves on the University of Tennessee’s Aerospace and Defense Advisory Board.  Wilson was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to serve on the Tennessee Aviation Funding Task Force from 2015-2016 and he is the president-elect of the AAAE Southeast Chapter, representing 12 southeastern states.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as the next President of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority,” said Wilson. “I hope to contribute to and build upon the strong aviation foundation that exists at both McGhee Tyson and Downtown Island Airports by recruiting air service, creating new jobs and investing in the people who work at and visit
the airports.”


The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority owns and operates both McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) and Downtown Island Airport.