published Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Consultant firm suggests Chattanooga airport be renamed 'Chattanooga Airport'

The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport officials on Monday heard consultants suggest a new name for the facility and a potential return of nonstop New York flights.

Big Communications, a Birmingham, Ala., advertising firm hired by the airport, suggested the facility be called "Chattanooga Airport" in the future.

The company, brought on to create better brand awareness for the airport, said that taking "Metropolitan" out of the name creates simplicity.

The company also came up with a tag line that could be used in future advertising with the new name: "Get on board."

The company said the tag line reflects not just boarding an airline in Chattanooga, but also its railroad past as well as joining with citizens in building the city.

But Airport Authority member Gene Veazey said a past look at the airport's name noted that many people from Dalton, Ga.; Cleveland, Tenn.; and other adjacent areas use the city-owned airport in Chattanooga.

He added, though, that many people already call it Chattanooga Airport.

Farzana Mitchell, another authority member, said a related new logo playing off the airport's aviation symbol of "CHA" is classic, simple and modern.

"It's like Chattanooga is getting into the modern era," she said.

  • photo
    Christina Siebold of the Chattanooga Metro Airport Authority
    Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Christina Siebold, the airport's head of marketing, said officials will review suggestions and come back to the board later.

New York service

Meanwhile, another consultant hired by the airport told officials that past passenger traffic would support new nonstop service to New York's LaGuardia Airport.

"You're ripe for New York service," said Michael Lum of Sixel Consulting, adding officials ought to see Delta Air Lines about the possibility of renewing nonstops.

Lum also said that airport officials should try to woo United Air Lines to the city. He cited the potential of flights to Houston and Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport.

"The big gap in Chattanooga's air service is United," Lum said.

US Airways offered service between LaGuardia and Chattanooga for a period last decade. But the airline canceled the nonstop flights in 2004 after they lost money, according to the carrier.

Mike Landguth, the airport's president, said the city lost the New York nonstops because travelers wouldn't stop using Delta service.

"This community didn't get on board," he said.

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about Mike Pare...

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 ...

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328Kwebsite said...

How much did we pay out for this brilliance?

Part of the advantage in having the word "Metropolitan" in the airport's name is that it tells people they can't fly to just anywhere from here. It's a functional adjective that helps people plan their trips.

Removing the truth from the label is not going to all of a sudden create a runway and an infrastructure that will make our airport service better. Look at the actual use of our airport. Commuter hops and single engine planes make up a large percentage of our airport's use. People fly in to Chattanooga because regional and international airports are farther away. Changing the name to try to disguise that will not cause a substantive increase in business.

September 27, 2011 at 2:11 a.m.
Czech123 said...

Wow!!! I'm surprised they're not trying to spend money wooing Lufthansa to provide non-stop service to Germany. I mean, afterall, Chattanooga has the Volkswagen plant so we HAVE TO have service there, right?? Hahaha!! As for the "Get On Board" slogan, lame. You can't get on a train to take you from the airport to downtown. Heck, you can't even get on a CARTA bus at the airport. The new slogan should be "Chattanooga Airport, Welcome To Fantasy Island!!"

September 27, 2011 at 7:05 a.m.
sig4ever2 said...

Attention all "study" hucksters. Bring your study concept to Chattanooga and chances are very good it will be funded. Here is an idea, how about hiring some extra sales force to go out and promote the Chattanooga Airport?

September 27, 2011 at 1:55 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Perhaps they will be able to hire Ritz Carlton for some half-a million dollar consulting, too. Since they are feeling so generous with tax payer dollars.

September 27, 2011 at 2:41 p.m.
hambone said...

Chattanooga Airport

"You can't get there from here"

You got to go thru Atlanta!!

Or, Groome is ready when you are!

September 27, 2011 at 4:27 p.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Perhaps they should have hired some marketing majors from UTC for free. Good grief.

September 27, 2011 at 4:43 p.m.
lightkeeper said...

Here we go again with that backward bs. All major cities I have ever visited or lived in, "cities not little country towns", had either Metro Airports then upgraded to International airports. Just calling it Chatt.Airport is like regressing 30 years into the past and gives the country that impression. Chattanooga and Hamilton CO. is a major Metro area whether anyone likes it or not.

September 27, 2011 at 5:07 p.m.
MasterChefLen said...

I'm surprised Emperor Littlefield has not name it the "Ron Littlefield Airport" yet.

September 27, 2011 at 6:22 p.m.
Facts said...

How perfect. We have the Chattanooga Airport paying for laughable "consulting services", we have a Mayor who is a laughing stock that legally has been recalled, and a Congressman who paid some DC firm to write him a 33-page script for his re-election which was promoted as a "major economic announcement." Congratulations, Chattanooga! You have reached your peak & have the "leadership" you deserve.

September 27, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
esaletnik said...

That woman in the picture is giving the kind of look that my mother used to give when I did something wrong just before I got sent to my room.

September 27, 2011 at 6:58 p.m.
Humphrey said...

The headline is absolutely wonderful. WOnderful.

September 27, 2011 at 7:48 p.m.
cinderella said...

So we spend taxpayer dollars to a firm in B'ham.

September 27, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
Sweet_Lorraine said...

I dropped in from the Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web".

A question occurs to me: Why does the airport need to tweak its branding? If I lived in Chattanooga, I'd use the airport. Since I don't, I'll fly in to CHA if and only if it's reasonably close to my eventual destination and if the flights are conveniently scheduled and well-priced. Not only are none of these factors going to be affected by marketing initiatives, but I don't believe any of them are anything the airport has any influence over at all.

Who are you trying to attract? Is a business going to refuse to relocate to Chattanooga because the airport has a non-streamlined name? Do passengers go out of their way to fly from other airports because CHA is "so last year"?

Anyway, thanks for brightening my day.

September 27, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.
FactsChecker123 said...

Well here it is... and it's a matter of public record. $140,000 has been paid to Big Communications, the Birmingham, Alabama advertising firm hired by the airport to suggest the facility be called "Chattanooga Airport" in the future. Perhaps the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority's President, Mr. Landguth, and it's board of Commissioners could have resourced it's existing public relations firm that is under contract (Waterhouse Public Relations, largest in TN Valley) to offer new 'branding' initiatives.

September 27, 2011 at 8:41 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

I think that the branding of "metropolitan" absolutely does not fit Chattanooga. There is nothing "metropolitan" about it.

Sweet Lorraine, the problem is this...let's say that I want to fly to Las Vegas in 3 weeks. If I book from Chattanooga to Vegas, I have to book Delta and that will cost me over $600 round trip, it routes through Atlanta, and a flight time + layover time of 7 hrs or so.

If I book to fly out of Atlanta (2 hours away from Chattanooga), the cost is reduced to $400 and a 4 hour 30 minute flight time. The travel time to Atlanta is roughly 2 hours. You can hire a transportation company to the Atlanta airport from Chattanooga for $73 round trip.

The same can be said of going to Nashville and flying Southwest for example. The transportation company cost $73 round trip, the airfare is under $400, the total travel time is 6 hours 30 minutes. And taking the transportation company means not paying for airport parking.

Or I can go to Knoxville, TN and fly out with a layover in Chicago or Minneapolis, pay about $400, travel time with driving and air time is 8 1/2 hours.

Ironically, Delta charges over $500 to fly from Chattanooga to Atlanta. A 44 minute trip. And Delta routes everything through Atlanta in the first place.

I don't think...in the long run...any name on Earth will cause people to use the Chattanooga airport any more frequently unless they can get those airfares under control.

September 27, 2011 at 9:37 p.m.
Oz said...

We want major corporations to come and do business in Chattanooga but we can't even hire a local consultant to name the airport. If you want to be a consultant in Chattanooga open your office in Atlanta or Birmingham.

September 27, 2011 at 9:59 p.m.

They overpaid. Here's some better names:

O'hare Southport Heathrow West Annex Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta Northern Adjunct Tokyo Eastern Landing

And I won't even charge a dime.

September 27, 2011 at 10:11 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

If we change the name to Chattanooga Intercontinental Airport, will we be able to get flights to somewhere besides Atlanta, Memphis, and Charlotte?

September 27, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
7Seventeen said...

Well here it is... and it's a matter of public record. $140,000 has been paid to Big Communications, the Birmingham, Alabama advertising firm hired by the airport to suggest the facility be called "Chattanooga Airport" in the future. Perhaps the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority's President, Mr. Landguth, and it's board of Commissioners could have resourced it's existing public relations firm that is under contract (Waterhouse Public Relations, largest in TN Valley) to offer new 'branding' initiatives.

This is the same Airport Authority that chose to put several people out of work during the recession so that Michael Landguth could sign a new contract and collect a $40,000 bonus for his trouble. Two years later there's a new FBO (ninety percent paid for by federal taxpayers), another study paid for, and a low-paying job for an airport planner open at CMAA. This is all about "branding" Landguth in his monthly report to the board that justifies his salary.

September 28, 2011 at 12:22 a.m.
ElleEmMo said...

I understand there is probably quite a bit of research that justified this hourly expense and strategy that exceeded $100K, however, please. There are many competent Chatt firms or TN firms that could have competently handled this renaming project. What a joke. Chattanooga "has no jobs."

September 28, 2011 at 11:42 a.m.
aviation7 said...

The airport authority should consider adding International to it's name since hosting nonstop flights from Europe to Chattanooga this past week. The Huntsville airport has added International to it's name on the basis of it's international air freight business, so why not use the name CHAttanooga International Airport?

September 28, 2011 at 11:54 a.m.
bobbyt said...

-One boondoggle taxpayer funded private jet terminal: $5,000,000 -One ridiculous taxpayer funded airport study: $140,000 (a matter of public record by the way) -Knowing that Mike Landguth is incompetent at his job. . .Priceless

September 29, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.
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