The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority board of commissioners voted to adopt a new mission statement emphasizing fresh goals to foster local economic growth and to minimize “leakage” of customers to Knoxville, Nashville or Atlanta.
The statement reads:
“To serve Chattanooga and the surrounding tri-state region as the undisputed choice for personal and business travelers offering safe and convenient air transportation with unprecedented customer service - driving economic growth for the airport and the communities that it serves.”
The former mission statement was 15 years old. Commissioner Santosh Sankar praised the ambitious language in the update.
“We do quite well in rising to the occasion,” he said of the Chattanooga community.
Commissioner Dr. Paul Conn said the words “undisputed” and “unprecedented” were a little “too hot” for him, though he said he was happy to adopt the statement without changes.
“It should be a bold claim,” said Commissioner David LittleJohn, who wrote the statement.
The board of commissioners voted to approve the Airport budget for fiscal year 2024, presented by Vice President of Finance April Cameron.
Operating expenses are $24.7 million, up four percent from last year. The Airport will increase its parking garage fee from $14 a day to $15 a day. Parking fees make up 18 percent of the airport’s revenues.
The parking garage represents the airport’s only debt of $18 million, or $1.6 million annually.
Airport President and CEO Terry Hart reported that the airport recently worked with the city of Chattanooga to demolish the vacant SkyZoo building, a former sports bar at East Brainerd Road and Lee Highway. The Airport had acquired the property 18 months ago.