Tri-Cities Regional Airport Car Rental

Tri-Cities Regional Airport Background…

The Tri-Cities Regional Airport is the primary airport used by Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport. It’s located just south of all three cities within the Blountville area of Tennessee. When commercial aviation first started up in the region, Johnson City and Kingsport both had their own operational airstrips and competed for business. However, as the aviation industry grew and began to require larger facilities, both airports found they could not expand to meet the growing demands. In 1937 the Tri-Cities Regional Airport was born.

All three cities and Sullivan County teamed together to make the centralized airport a reality. It is located in the geographic center of the area it services and started out with two runways, a terminal, and a hangar. The airport has seen its plethora of expansions and additions over the years as it changed to meet the ever growing demands of the commercial aviation industry. Recently, in April 2012, the airport began work on a ten million dollar development project to extend the runways and open one hundred and forty acres of land for future development purposes.

Tri-Cities Regional Airport Car Rentals…

There are six nationally acclaimed car rental companies that offer their services to the passengers of Tri-Cities Regional Airport every day, all year long. Your six choices include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, and National. All six counters are located beside the baggage claim area within the main terminal.

The rental cars are conveniently located in a rental lot just outside the terminal, most of which is covered with a canopy to protect the vehicles from exposure to inclement weather.  You will be able to walk right out of the terminal area, stay underneath a covering and stay dry pretty much the whole way.  Regardless, you should still check your rental over for flaws and a full tank before driving it off the lot.

Tri-Cities Regional Directions to Kingsport and Johnson City…

As I mentioned before, the airport is the geographic center for the entire area. There are two ways to exit the airport. As you turn right out of the car rental parking lot, you will soon encounter a four-way area, where you can turn left or right.  To get to the city of Kingsport, you will turn left and then very quickly veer right onto TN-357 N/Airport Pkwy.  Drive for about 2.5 miles until you can go West on I-81 S toward Knoxville.   Drive almost four miles and then travel North on 59 for TN-36 toward Kingsport/Johnson City area. 

To get to Johnson City, travel out of the airport in the same way as above, but to get to Johnson City, you should go thru that first four-way until you get to the Bristol Highway (a Sunoco gas station will sit across the road).  Turn left on Bristol and drive almost seven miles, then go South on I-26 E/US-23 S toward Johnson City.

old rail platform in Johnson City

Tri-Cities Regional Airport Car Rental Return…

First, you will want to take your fuel policy into consideration.  Most likely (not only at the Tri-Cities Regional, but at most airport locations throughout the U.S as well), your policy will require that you re-fill before returning the rental.  Otherwise, you will be penalized in the form of very, very expensive gasoline. 

So, to avoid the penalty, we always recommend that you re-fuel before returning to the Tri-Cities Regional.  To do so, we will show you a few gas station locations.  First, and probably the most convenient place to re-fuel will be at the above-mentioned Sunoco across from the terminal. 

If you’re coming in from 81 to the North, you will probably take the 63 exit.  When you do, turn right and a Citgo will be about a half mile from the exit.  Fill up, turn around and travel back to the airport.

When bringing your rental back to the lot, remember to park the car in the same lot from which you originally found it.  Take a few pictures of the rental, just for your records.  You never know when there might be a dispute on the condition of the rental, and it’s better to have too much information than not enough.

Other Car Rental Options at Tri-Cities Regional Airport…

Cars available at the Tri-Cities Regional will include the basic economy-type rentals and some of the more expensive models such as SUV’s, minivans, and luxury cars as well.  Simply use our rental booking above and see what comes up.

With so much ground to cover and so many different destinations, grabbing a GPS system along with your rental is a good idea. Each company offers a satellite-updated GPS system that can get you around the area quickly regardless of traffic and weather problems that may appear on the roadways ahead. So do yourself a favor and reserve a GPS system whenever you reserve your vehicle.
Source: Tri-Cities Regional Airport

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