Chattanooga Airport Celebrates $28 Million Terminal Renovation And Expansion

  • Saturday, March 2, 2024

The Chattanooga Airport, elected officials and business and community leaders celebrated completion of the airport’s $28 million terminal renovation and expansion during a grand opening event on Saturday. From the end of the new concourse, officials made remarks to about 400 people about the airport’s milestone, while outside, construction imagery was projected onto an airport hangar.

“The Chattanooga Airport is more than a transportation hub. It is where our region takes flight. Where businesses arrive to see if their ideas take off in Chattanooga and where our entrepreneurs spread their wings,” said April Cameron, Chattanooga Airport president and CEO. “With today’s grand opening, we are doubling down on our position as an economic driver of our region.”

The expansion project added 26,000 square feet to the terminal and included renovating 36,000 square feet of existing concourse. It includes two new gates and an additional passenger loading bridge, expanded security checkpoint, increased restrooms and concessions, and a new business center with 10 Gig Wi-fi provided by EPB.

“Growth is necessary for us to remain competitive, and the expansion is an important milestone for the airport and our region,” said Jim Hall, chairman of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority. “We are confident passengers will continue to fly Chattanooga and that even more people across our region will prioritize flying from our home airport.”

Delta will operate from new gates seven and eight, and the new bridge at gate six will support additional flights and routes as the airport continues to grow its destination base. New concessions include 2,570 square feet of post-security restaurant space with 60 seats in the dining area and 20 bar seats.

“The growth of our airport plays a key role in bolstering economic development across our region,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “In short, air service development is economic development. And an attractive airport also draws in visitors and new residents, contributing significantly to our community's vitality and appeal.”

Through December 2023, Chattanooga Airport boardings are up 13% compared to the same time last year.

Funding for the expansion project came from three sources: approximately $17.5 million was federal grant money, while $3. million came from airport funds, and $7.6 million was collected through the airport’s passenger facility fee.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee Senator Bo Watson, Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp, Tommy Dupree, a manager with the FAA, and Adam Myers, vice president of economic development for the Chattanooga Chamber, also spoke at the event about the excitement around the project and what it means for the region’s economy.

Local builders J&J Contractors of Chattanooga led construction of the expansion while engineers Allen & Hoshall performed the engineering and management of the project. DH&W led architecture and interior planning for the terminal expansion and renovation. The project builds on phase one of the airport’s master plan, which included the $25 million four-level parking garage that was completed in 2021.

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