Crissy Beecham, 6-month-old Aiden Beecham and Denise Sircy eat at Sky Burgers Diner, which opened earlier this month at the Sumner County Regional Airport.
Sumner County Regional Airport officials hope a new restaurant located near the runway could help land more visitors and increase awareness of the 54-year-old facility.
Sky Burgers Diner, located on the airport property at 1475 Airport Road, opened to the public March 7. The restaurant sits near the terminal and features two large windows with an unparalleled view of the airport’s 6,300-foot runway.
“I have always wanted to do things for this airport,” owner Mike McCartney said. “There are really (no restaurants) on this side of town, and right now, the biggest majority of the people that come in here have never been to the airport before.”
Customers can choose from a variety of menu options like “Turbulence” (hand-cut fries with cheese, bacon and ranch sauce),“The Cockpit” chicken sandwich and “May-Day! May-Day!” spicy fish and chicken sandwiches, along with the signature “Sky Burger.” Offerings include a variety of sandwiches, grilled sirloin, hand breaded chicken strips, and smoked roast beef and turkey breast. Menu prices begin at $2 for appetizers and go up to $12 for wings.
“We don’t use frozen hamburgers,” McCartney said. “You can come in here and get a fish sandwich or fresh cut fries. Everything we do is all fresh.”
Sky Burgers Diner, which is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., could eventually expand its operating hours to include a light breakfast meal option, added McCartney.
County airport officials say the restaurant is the only one of its kind they are aware of that is located on the property of a general aviation airport in the state. The FAA describes general aviation airports as ones that are publicly used and do not have scheduled service or have less than 2,500 annual passenger boardings.
“Overall, it’s a good expansion that should help the airport,” said Harold Van Leeuween, manager of the Sumner County Regional Airport. “Certainly what it will do is help the community awareness of the airport and potentially improve the support from the community.”
The airport, which is operated by the Sumner County Regional Airport Authority, underwent a more than $6 million renovation project last year to reconstruct its runway and move a parallel taxiway to comply with FAA safety regulations.
Built in 1962, the airport features 12 corporate hangers, 23 port-a-ports and 40 T-hangars with between 70 and 100 aircraft based at the site. The fixed base operator for the facility is GTO Aviation, LLC.
“This is a much nicer airport than any of them around, really,” said McCartney, who also owns GTO Aviation. “We’ve got to get people interested in aviation and this is just another way to do it.”
IF YOU GO
What: Sky Burgers Diner
When: Open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Where: 1475 Airport Road
For more information contact Sky Burgers Diner at 615-451-1463 or visit www.skyburgersdiner.com.
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