LifeFlight 5 is officially operating from the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport from a temporary location until a permanent pad can be constructed.
"We are excited to have Air Methods up and operating from the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport," said Airport Manager Chad L. Gehrke. "We are delighted not only for Air Methods but for residents throughout Murfreesboro and the surrounding area who will benefit from time-saving access to emergency care and trauma centers in Nashville."
The Murfreesboro City Council approved a Land Lease Agreement in January to allow Air Methods to build facilities and conduct emergency medical transport services at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport.
"The agreement allows for a Vanderbilt LifeFlight station to be based in Murfreesboro for three years," said Gehrke. "Air Methods now has several highly trained pilots, paramedics, and flight nurses at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport."
Air Methods is currently operating off of the main ramp at the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport until their permanent facilities are completed. The three-year lease agreement for $26,750.00 per year provides a half acre on the previous McKnight Soccer Fields to allow Air Methods to construct a 50x50 feet concrete pad, hangar and crew offices. Under the agreement, the City of Murfreesboro is constructing ramp connections and extending utilities to the site. The agreement also provides for two one-year options at the end of the original term.
Life Flight 5 had previously based operations at the Smyrna airport since December 2012 and made more than 300 flights in 2014.
"We are pleased to be operating flights out of Murfreesboro," said Mark Tankersley of Vanderbilt LifeFlight. "The new central location improves our access to the larger population in Murfreesboro and the surrounding counties around Rutherford County."
With temporary trailers in place and LifeFlight 5 on the main ramp, work is underway for a more permanent location. Architectural drawings for a hangar and office area have been drafted and engineering work is currently being conducted for footings and pads at the location.
The addition of Air Methods to Murfreesboro comes as the airport is extending the runway. The $5 million Runway and LED Lighting Improvement project by LoJac Enterprises is expected to completed early this fall.