Chattanooga Airport lands $1.35 million grant for terminal expansion

Travelers leave the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in this 2014 photo.

Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport has received a $1.35 million federal grant to be used toward the possible largest expansion of the passenger terminal since the existing facility opened in 1991.

The grant was part of $273 million the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded to 184 airports in 41 states.

Design of the expanded terminal may get underway this year. Airport officials have discussed enlarging the terminal to add gates to handle more airplanes and increase concourse space for passengers.

Last year, the Airport Authority approved work related to designing a $4.2 million hangar that will enable relocating older facilities near the terminal and open the way for the potential expansion.

Earlier this month, the airport's biggest-ever parking project, a $25 million, four-level garage designed to boost convenience and protect travelers from the weather, hit its first milestone when site demolition began for the 1,300-space garage.