Prior to 2014, the highest record of traveller boardings in the Tennessee airport’s history was 311,204 in 1993.
President, Terry Hart, explains: “ We knew in November that we were setting a new record and hoped the final numbers would be near 350,000. But surpassing 352,000 far exceeded our expectations.”
The Airport Authority attributes the rise in customers to several factors including airport convenience, competitive airfares, introduction of larger aircraft, and the continued strong economic development in the region.
Hart continues: “We experienced many significant changes in 2014. Not only did we complete a $7.2 million terminal renovation during which we addressed customer concerns about concessions and Wi-Fi, but we also saw the reintroduction of Delta mainline aircraft, which added more seats into our market, and placed a greater emphasis on flight reliability.
“These upgrades are very appealing to our frequent flyers and the many customers who drive here from surrounding areas. In addition, all of the airlines have kept fares out of Chattanooga very competitive with neighboring airports.”
Dan Jacobson, chairman of the Airport Authority board, says Chattanooga has continued to see steady economic growth over the last several years and has truly become a destination for business development as well as a haven for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts.
He adds: “Our city’s focus on technology, the Volkswagen expansion and the annual IRONMAN triathlon are just a few of the developments drawing new people to Chattanooga regularly and many of those people are using the Chattanooga Airport.
“The cooperative spirit within our local government, plus the hard work of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the EPB ‘Gig,’ and our economic development partners around the region, have all played a vital role in the growth of the airport and have positioned us for solid growth in the future.”
Airport officials expect 2015 to be another positive year, citing an increase in the scheduled number of daily departures, and insist their focus will remain on improving the customer experience.
Hart says: “This year we are focused on improving customer parking, with expanded lots, covered walkways throughout and new parking equipment. In addition, we will continue dialogue with our airline partners regarding opportunities for additional air service.
“We know our customers have a choice when they book their flights and we appreciate that they chose us in 2014. We look forward to serving them again this year.”