TCAA announces first Aerospace Park tenant

Local leaders signed an agreement to fund Aerospace Park back in 2017. The Tri-Cities Airport Authority approved a lease agreement with the park’s first tenant on Thursday.

The Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) approved a lease agreement with Final Forge at today’s board meeting, making the company the first to locate on Aerospace Park. 

Final Forge will be constructing two new buildings at the airport with more than 50,000 square feet dedicated to its operations, which will move to Blountville later this year. 

Final Forge develops and manufactures head-borne protective equipment for the military, law enforcement, first responders, and homeland security forces. David Rogers, company founder, and employees have spent decades working in this field and have created many highly regarded protective products used throughout the world. 

The company’s primary activities at Aerospace Park will be focused on research and development, manufacturing, and maintenance of protective helmets, eyewear, hearing, and respiratory devices used by fixed and rotary wing aircraft pilots and crew. Final Forge currently holds multiple contracts with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The Blountville location will provide Final Forge with improved resources for customers at Fort Campbell, Fort Bragg, Fort Rucker, MacDill AFB and Virginia Beach with their proximity to the Tri-Cities. 

In addition to more than a dozen manufacturing jobs, Final Forge will be bringing a significant amount of laboratory and production machinery along with three aircraft to the new facilities. 
“Being located at the airport will not only aid in the product flight testing, research and development activities, but will also provide aviation customers the ability to fly-in and have their equipment serviced on-site by the same technicians responsible for building it in the first place,” said David Rogers, Final Forge managing member. “This one-stop-shop approach will shorten lead-times and improve the customer experience in ways never before possible with aviation life support equipment.” 

“We are thrilled to welcome Final Forge to Aerospace Park and the Tri-Cities region,” said Gene Cossey, Tri-Cities Airport executive director. “We believe this is just the start of success for Aerospace Park, and like Final Forge, many more aerospace businesses will see the benefit of being located here in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.” 

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