IATA airport code: CHA
Location: 1001 Airport Rd., Chattanooga, TN
Year Opened: The airport broke ground in 1929 and officially opened as Lovell Field in 1930. The dirt runways were expanded and paved in 1936 by the WPA. Like most U.S. airports, it became a military facility during WWII, serving as a military training facility. In the ‘50s airport operations were transferred to the city. The original terminal building was expanded in 1950 and ‘55 and replaced in 1964. The airport’s ownership was transferred to the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority in July 1985. In 1992, the current terminal was built.
Size: The airport covers 950 acres with two runways. It has five gates in a two-level terminal.
Transportation: CARTA local buses serve the airport. Taxis, rideshares and limousine services are available.
Fun Facts: It’s the world’s first aviation terminal to be LEED Platinum Certified.
The airport was spearheaded and named in honor of John Lovell, a city leader and manager of the Patton Hotel. Lovell was the chairman of Chattanooga’s chamber of commerce aeronautics committee beginning in 1919 and was largely responsible for the development of aviation in the city. He was an early advocate of airplane flight and the first passenger to fly out of Chattanooga. He did so in a kit plane built by Johnny Green, Chattanooga’s first pilot.
Officially it is Chattanooga Airport, but many still add “Lovell Field.”
A one megawatt solar farm was built in 2011 on the southwest corner of the airfield that was doubled in 2013 and completed in 2019. It currently provides enough power to meet all of the airport’s energy needs.
This story originally appeared in the May/June 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 22. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_may-june_2021