The Chattanooga Airport is enjoying exponential growth and is projected to have 700,000 enplanements - up from the current 470,000 - in 20 years, consultants carrying out an airport master plan said.
Brian Mohr of InterVistas said, "This is a very health growing market. Nobody's talking about taking airplanes away. They're talking about bringing in bigger planes and adding service."
He said, "In 2036 this will be a pretty different place."
Mr. Mohr, who has been meeting with airport stakeholders, said, "A lot of airports your size are not growing. They're losing service."
Terry Hart, airport president who has led in a revival at the facility, said the airport was stuck on 250,000 enplanements for a number of years.
He said, "We have had tremendous growth over the last 3-4 years."
Josh Cohn of InterVistas said the local airport needs to be aware of changes coming in the industry as it plans.
He said an increasing number of travelers are using services like Uber and Lyft to get to the airport rather than driving their own cars.
Mr. Cohn said there is a shift away from lines of ticket counters as more people use kiosks or book everything online.
He said new automated systems now in place at some airports are cutting down on wait times during the security checks.
It was noted that the airport has limited land for parking and might need to look at constructing a parking garage.
The last master plan for the airport was 2010. Mr. Hart said the airport has already exceeded those projections and fulfilled most of the designated projects listed.
The current study is expected to last about a year.