Chattanooga Metropolitan Authority board OKs $25 million loan for 1,300-car parking garage at airport

CEO Terry Hart poses at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chattanooga's airport plans to take on its biggest loan to finance more parking to accommodate the growth of Lovell Field.

The Chattanooga Metropolitan Authority board voted Monday to borrow $25 million over the next 20 years from Pinnacle Bank to finance the airport's first multi-story parking garage. Although the airport has yet to approve a specific design, airport authority president Terry Hart said he hopes to select the layout and contractor for the planned 1,300-space parking deck by December.

The parking garage will add a net 700 more spaces to the 2,100 parking spots now at airport lots and will provide closer parking to the airport terminal for more passengers. The four-level garage would go on what is now some of the short-term parking lot across from the existing rental car location, Hart said.