We're another step closer to an Oak Ridge airport.

Knoxville aviation officials first started discussing the proposed airport, which would be for private and corporate planes only, in 2012.

The Department of Energy would donate 130 acres at the East Tennessee Technical Park and Heritage Center for the facility, off the Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Supporters of the proposed airport believe it would make Oak Ridge more competitive in the business world because of the ease of getting business travelers in and out.

This week, the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority board voted to authorize an environmental review of the site to make sure the land is suitable for an airport. It would allow stakeholders to begin acceptance of grants to pay for it.

An airport spokesperson calls it another step in a long process, but it does move the project forward.

There's been no new estimate on when the airport could open, but back in 2012, officials said it would be 2018 at the earliest.