The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority is embarking on a plan to build at Lovell Field Airport a new FBO that will be managed by an independent third party. Requests for proposal for those interested in operating the FBO will be posted on October 1. Construction of the new facility should be completed by mid-2011. Phase 1 will cost about $5 million and is designed to offer pilots a 9,000-sq-ft terminal and 12,000-sq-ft hangar, certified to Leed green building standards.
The Chattanooga Airport Authority decided to build the new FBO to satisfy pilot complaints that fuel prices are too high due to lack of competition. “For the entire duration that I have served on or chaired the Airport Authority, representatives from the airlines, private aircraft owners and business leaders have asked us over and over again to provide some options related to fuel, equipment and services,” said chairman Dan Jacobson. The authority is using state grants and airport operating funds to pay for the new FBO. Chattanooga is already served by Tac Air, which in mid-September advertised jet-A at $5.07 per gallon. The Chattanooga area doesn’t offer pilots many choices of local airports serving jet-A.