Enshrined November 14, 2009
Jim Ethridge learned to fly in his hometown of Union City, Tennessee in 1959 and received his private pilot checkride from aviation legend Evelyn Bryan Johnson on January 19, 1960. He later served alongside Mrs. Johnson on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission. His pilot ratings include commercial fixed-wing single, multi-engine and instrument ratings and commercial helicopter. Mr. Ethridge has owned and flown a variety of piston, turbo-prop, jet and helicopter aircraft . In 1995, Governor Don Sundquist appointed Jim Ethridge to the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission where he served for two consecutive 5-year terms; twice as Commission Chairman. While on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission, the Tennessee Office of Aeronautics was elevated to Division status within the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Prior to completing his second term on the state aeronautics commission, Jim was appointed to the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Memphis International Airport is known as “America’s Aerotropolis”; the only airport in North America considered to be an “aerotropolis”, a world-class facility serving more than 10 million passengers a year and the largest air cargo airport in the world for nearly two decades. Jim has chaired the MSCAA long-term planning and development committee and its general aviation committee. Mr. Ethridge was elected the 2008 Chairman of the Commissioner’s Committee of the Airports Council International – North America, the North American branch of Airports Council International headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and he became a voting member of the Airports Council Board in Washington. He expanded the lobbying efforts of Commissioners of major airports in the U.S. and Canada focused upon guiding legislation in Washington to benefit airports and air travelers. Aviation has been an avocation and a labor of love for Jim Ethridge for almost 50 years. Through his talents and his leadership Jim Ethridge has made countless contributions to aviation.
To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com