Bay led a presentation about the airport and the new terminal, after which Rotarians walked through the building.
The terminal is two stories and features a variety of accommodations, including a large reception area, quiet rooms for pilots and conference rooms.
“We wanted to have something for the pilots who will sit around and wait for hours and hours on people,” Bay said.
Starting in the fall, the Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board will use a portion of the terminal building. The board is a governmental economic development agency that focuses on business recruitment to Wilson County.
Bay said with the opening of the new terminal, she continues to look to the future with the airport.
“Our population in the southeast is growing at 0.1 percent per year,” Bay said. “We have to be prepared for what we’re facing, and that’s growth in our communities.”
The airport’s operations have more than quadrupled since Bay took over in 2008, she said. In 2008, there were just less than 6,000 operations, and in 2016, there were about 27,000 operations.
Regular clients at the airport include businesses such as Cracker Barrel and Lojac, although many of the clients are private.
Bay asked members of the Rotary Club to keep an eye on legislation that could affect the airport, and to voice their opinions when necessary.
“We’re just another form of transportation, just another exit ramp — only ours is in the sky,” Bay said. “If you build one mile of interstate, you can go a mile. If you build a mile of runway, you can go anywhere.”