Consultant firm suggests Chattanooga airport be renamed 'Chattanooga Airport'

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

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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