NATA Protests FAA Funding for Chattanooga FBO

 - January 20, 2011, 10:52 AM

NATA has objected to the use of FAA funds disbursed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority to build a ramp for a new airport-owned FBO at Chattanooga (Tenn.) Metropolitan Airport/Lovell Field. The new facility, to be managed by Tennessee-based Wilson Air Center, is scheduled for completion this summer and would be in direct competition to Tac Air, which has been the sole ground services provider at the airport. In a letter to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, NATA president Jim Coyne noted that revenue-generating commercial facility infrastructure was ineligible for such funding based on longstanding FAA policy, and warned that ≥approval of this grant and accompanying distribution of funds appear to be a dangerous shift in policy.≤ A grant summary on the $3 million award describes its rationale as developing an FBO ≥to handle corporate traffic.≤ The new facility will include a fueling center, a 9,000-sq-ft general aviation terminal and a 12,000-sq-ft hangar.