Parts of Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport on Friday looked much like a parking lot for airplanes.
Volkswagen brought in hundreds of people for a global meeting of company managers at the new $1 billion assembly plant in Chattanooga.
Pam McAllister, who manages TAC Air’s fixed base operation at Lovell Field, said VW didn’t want a lot of comment about its meeting. But, she said, about 10 planes were parked outside TAC Air’s facilities on Friday.
Across the main runway, at least seven planes, many of them big aircraft in size, were parked in front of Wilson Air Center’s operation.
Martin Winterkorn, the company’s chief executive, said earlier that about 250 VW officials, managers and their spouses were to be in the city.
McAllister said the number of aircraft is probably one of the biggest collections she has seen at Chattanooga’s airport. She said other big gatherings which produced a lot of airport business were AT&T’s annual meeting of stockholders last year and an NCAA championship football game at Finley Stadium between Colgate and Delaware in 2003.
McAllister said she likes the business brought in this week by the VW meeting, adding the planes need to buy fuel.
Mike Landguth, the airport’s president, said Lovell Field officials have planned for several years for growth in aviation which they believe is a direct reflection of the region’s expanding economy.
“Clearly, that growth is occurring,” he said.
VW built a temporary 60,000-square-foot structure for the meeting at the plant. According to VW, the pavilion is to be dismantled within days after the meeting.
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...