Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
|Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
|IATA: CHA – ICAO: KCHA – FAA LID: CHA|
|Owner/Operator||Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||683 ft / 208 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (IATA: CHA, ICAO: KCHA, FAA LID: CHA), also known as Lovell Field, is a public airport located five miles (8 km) east of the central business district of Chattanooga, a city in Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States. The airport is owned and operated by the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority. It is a Class C airport serviced by Chattanooga Approach.
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport has a single concourse with five gates. Commercial service is provided by Delta Air Lines, American Eagle, US Airways Express, and Allegiant Air. General aviation is serviced by TAC Air and Wilson Air Center FBO. The general aviation ramp is split into two locations, with one on the South side of the main terminal, and the other to the North. The locations are respectively referred to as "Air North" and "Air South." General aviation can find service at either location. In August 2011, Wilson Air Center opened up a facility on the west side of the field.
Currently, a flight from Chattanooga to Atlanta can take 18 minutes (from wheels up to wheels down) flying on a Canadair Regional Jet (operated by Delta Connection) or Delta Air Lines DC-9. When flight operations in Atlanta are interrupted, Chattanooga is one of the first airports to receive diversions.
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport was home to the 241st Engineering Installation Squadron (241 EIS) of the Tennessee Air National Guard until late 2010, when the squadron moved to a Bonny Oaks facility near the airport.
The first scheduled air carrier operation in Tennessee took place in Chattanooga in 1928 at Marr Field, dedicated in December 1919, named for Walter L. Marr, and located off present-day Amnicola Highway. Chattanooga was a stopover on the Contract Air Mail route served by Interstate Airlines between Atlanta, Georgia and Chicago, Illinois. Charles Lindbergh, aka Slim, the world-famous aviator who had piloted the Spirit of St. Louis over the Atlantic Ocean in May 1927, flew into Marr Field on October 5, 1927.
In 1930, due to the interest and foresight of John Lovell, a new Chattanooga Airport was established with an unpaved runway at its present location and was named Lovell Field in his honor. In 1936, the landing area was expanded and runways paved as a part of the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). The original terminal building was also built at that time.
During World War II, Lovell Field served as a military training facility.
Post-war growth in aviation in the 1950s led to a transfer of the airport's operations to the City of Chattanooga and significant airport expansion with construction of a new runway, which serves as the primary runway today. The original terminal building, dating from the 1930s, was expanded in 1950 and 1955 by the city before being replaced by a new terminal building in 1964.
The Airport's ownership was transferred from Chattanooga to the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority (CMAA) in July 1985.
Facilities and aircraft 
The largest aircraft currently serving the airport is the DC-9 operated by Delta. The airline had flown a regular mainline service for 48 years until withdrawing the service in 1995 in favor of its affiliates like Atlantic Southeast Airlines operating smaller regional jets, such as the CRJ-200, until deciding to reintroduce the service in the form of a DC-9 jet to Chattanooga in September 2012.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 77,361 aircraft operations, an average of 211 per day: 57% general aviation, 24% air taxi, 14% military and 5% scheduled commercial. There are 115 aircraft based at this airport: 53% jet, 31% single-engine, 14% multi-engine and 2% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations 
|Allegiant Air||Orlando-Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater (FL)|
|American Eagle||Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta|
|Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet||Atlanta, Detroit|
|Delta Connection operated by Pinnacle Airlines||Atlanta|
|US Airways Express operated by Air Wisconsin||Charlotte|
|US Airways Express operated by Piedmont Airlines||Charlotte|
|US Airways Express operated by PSA Airlines||Charlotte, Washington-National|
In 2011, budget carrier Vision Airlines launched the airport's fourth low cost route in the airport's history to Destin, Florida; the route was cut after 2 months as Vision Airlines scaled back operations.
Top Destinations 
|2||Charlotte, NC||67,000||US Airways|
|6||Dallas-Fort Worth, TX||15,000||American|
|7||St. Petersburg, FL||15,000||Allegiant|
|8||Washington-Reagan, DC||10,000||US Airways|
Accidents and incidents 
On November 11, 1972, Southern Airways Flight 49, a hijacked McDonnell Douglas DC-9 with 31 passengers and 3 crew members aboard, landed at Lovell Field from Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport to pick up $10 million that three hijackers had demanded. After picking up the ransom money, which actually amounted to between $2 million and $2.5 million, the plane took off, bound for Havana, Cuba.
On November 27, 1973, Delta Air Lines Flight 516, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed short of the runway on approach to the airport. None of the 79 passengers and crew were killed in the incident, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
On September 19, 2007, a small twin turboprop plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the Brainerd Village Mall parking lot, which is only 2000 feet from the runway. The plane skidded into a telephone pole, into two parked cars, and then hit a car traveling on Brainerd Road, which runs parallel to Lovell Field. All three passengers, including the pilot, sustained major injuries but no one was killed. The person in the car traveling on Brainerd Road sustained no injuries.
- FAA Airport Master Record for CHA ( PDF), effective October 25, 2007
- Pare, Mike (May 16, 2007). "Atlanta to Study Second Airport". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- Pare, Mike (May 29, 2007). "Officials Want 2nd Atlanta Airport Scenario Studied". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved May 30, 2007.
- Pare, Mike (August 18, 2011). "Vintage Jet Rides to New Home". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Jolley, Harmon (July 20, 2009). "Marr Field Preceded Lovell Field as Chattanooga's Airport". Chattanoogan.com. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Pare, Mike (April 26, 2009). "Lovell Field naming rights could boost airport revenues". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- "Master Plan Update" [Background]. Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority. July 2010. pp. 2–1. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- Pickering, Andrew; Steinert, Ron. The Passenger Experience: Gensler Airports. New York City: Edizioni Press, Inc. p. 62. ISBN 1-931536-14-7. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
- Pare, Mike (September 6, 2012). "Delta's Big Jets Return for Atlanta Flights". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Caldwell, Carla (June 12, 2012). "Delta Returns Daily [Mainline] Flight to Chattanooga After 17 Years". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Smyser, Dick (September 20, 2001). "Three Hijackers of an Earlier Time, Two of Them From Oak Ridge". The Oak Ridger. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Welsch, Anthony (May 25, 2011). "Convicted Hijacker Shares Story, Details 1972 Threat to Oak Ridge". WBIR. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- Derner, Jr., Philip (November 10, 2011). "On This Day in Aviation History: November 10th". NYC.Aviation.com. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- Amteck's Ron Turner, Daren Turner, 2 Others Survive Plane Crash Into Shopping Center In Chattanooga
- Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (official web site)
- Lovell Field page at Tennessee DOT Airport Directory
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: