Memphis International Airport Notes

December 2009

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Jim Ethridge Is Inducted into
Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame

On November 14, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Board member, Jim Ethridge was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame for his extraordinary achievement and service to the aviation industry, for Tennessee, his country and the world.

Ethridge learned to fly in 1959 in his hometown of Union City, Tennessee. He received his private pilot check-ride a year later from aviation legend Evelyn Bryan Johnson. He later served alongside Johnson on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission. His pilot ratings include commercial fixed-wing single, multi-engine and instrument ratings and commercial helicopter. Ethridge has owned and flown a variety of piston, turbo-prop, jet and helicopter aircraft.

In 1995, Governor Don Sundquist appointed Ethridge to the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission where he served for two consecutive five-year terms; twice as Commission Chairman. While on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission, the Tennessee Office of Aeronautics was elevated to Division status within the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Prior to completing his second term on the state aeronautics commission, Ethridge was appointed to the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Board. Ethridge chairs the MSCAA long-term planning and development committee and its general aviation committee.

Ethridge was elected the 2008 Chairman of the Commissioner’s Committee of the Airports Council International–North America, the North American branch of Airports Council International headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and he became a voting member of the Airports Council Board in Washington. He expanded the lobbying efforts of Commissioners of major airports in the U.S. and Canada focused upon guiding legislation in Washington to benefit airports and air travelers.

Ethridge joins a handful of other West Tennesseans in the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame including Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Chairman, President & CEO; Larry D. Cox, President & CEO of Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority; and Robert A. Wilson, President & Founder of Wilson Air Companies.


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