Interim boss Hart sees opportunities for Lovell Field

Interim boss Hart sees opportunities for Lovell Field

November 17th, 2011 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

Terry Hart, interim Airport Authority CEO, talks about his history in the transportation business and the future of Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

TERRY HART

Job: Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Interim CEO

Age: 50

Background: Reared in New Castle, Ind.

Education: Indiana University

Family: Married with two children

Work: Formerly with Britt Airways, American Airlines and American Eagle in Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth

Terry Hart says he sees a lot of opportunities for Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport to grow along with the region.

New plants by Volkswagen, Wacker and Alstom are topics airport officials bring up when they talk to airlines about raising their level of service, said Hart, the interim chief executive at Lovell Field.

"There are positive things in the community compared to others, and it's a big plus when you go out and chat with the carriers," he said in a recent interview.

Earlier this fall, Hart was named by the Airport Authority to take over on an interim basis for Mike Landguth, who took the top job at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina.

With 25 years in the aviation industry and nearly 20 with the parent of American Airlines and American Eagle, he came to Chattanooga four years ago to fill the vice president of operation's job.

Instead of working on the airline side, he has been involved in airport operations at Lovell Field, overseeing "nuts and bolts" issues such as maintenance, fire, police, and ground handling that the airport does for Allegiant Air.

"It's taking care of customers," said Hart.

In his new role, that concept remains at the forefront, he said.

The 50-year-old Indiana native said if the airport stays focused on core issues such as safety, security, customer service, fiscal responsibility and promoting the airport's ease of use, it will be successful.

Dan Jacobson, the authority's chairman, said Hart brings a wealth of experience to the job and a passion for aviation.

"He has had a long history ... of working collaboratively to get things done," he said.

Jacobson said officials are putting the search process details in place for Landguth's replacement.

As to whether he'll be a candidate, Hart said he'll do whatever the authority asks him.

"Whatever the board asks me to do, I'll assist in any way," he said.