Chattanooga Airport officials working to add additional nonstop flights
Administrators at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport are preparing for future projects next year.
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport CEO Terry Hart said they have completed a 20-year master plan to help them how they can adapt to the city's rapid growth.
For the sixth year in a row, the airport set another record for annual travelers.
He predicts a total of 550,000 annual travelers by the end of the year. Last year, they saw about 504,000 annual travelers.
Tart said they plan to start construction for a $25 million parking garage early next year. Once completed, the garage will make 1,300 parking spots available.
The expansion of the terminal could start groundwork as early as May 2021, Hart said. In the meantime, he said they are working to add additional nonstop flights.
In May, American Airlines launched a nonstop flight between Chattanooga and Philadelphia. Hart said they continue to talk to carriers about other possible destinations.
"Markets such as Miami, that gains you into south Florida as well as on to the Caribbean and South America," Hart said. "We think Houston would work for us, United's hub in Houston."
Hart said they are interested in a nonstop flight to Denver as well.
While these projects are still in the works, Tart reflected on a major milestone made earlier this year. In June, administrators announced the completion of the final phase of their solar farm.
READ MORE | CHA Flight Tracker
Hart said the revenue they receive from TVA offsets the airport's electrical costs, which helps to keep costs low for customers.
"Fees such as landing fees for aircraft to land, parking fees for the parking lot, rent, things of that nature," Hart said. "Basically what we charge to operate here at the airport."