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TSA Removes Airport Screening Machines

By Will Nunley
By wnunley@wbbjtv.com

Officials with the federal Transportation Security Administration removed all of the baggage screening machines from McKellar Sipes Regional Airport on Friday.

The move comes as the airport's only commercial carrier, Tennessee Skies, announced it is leaving. Airport leaders say a mixture of service issues and a lack of government funding led to the airline's departure.

Airport Authority Executive Director Steve Smith says the equipment, and a carrier, could return if government leaders allow McKellar Sipes to be funded for offering commercial flights.

For now, airport officials are figuring out what to do with the vacant terminal space. Leaders say they are having discussions about offering a low-cost bus service to airline customers traveling to Memphis and Nashville.