Chattanooga May Hike PFC if Law is Changed

Air travelers at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport could be paying more to fly.

Airport officials may consider hiking its passenger facility charge to $6 if Congress approves the increase nationwide.

Mike Landguth, the Airport Authority president, said Monday the existing $4.50 per passenger charge doesn't go as far as it did because of inflation.

"Our buying power is going down," he said.

Earlier this month, legislation was introduced that would boost the maximum PFC to $6 from $4.50. The increase would add $3 to the cost of a round-trip ticket.

Airport Authority members Monday approved a contract for a financial consultant to put together a new plan for using PFC money at Lovell Field.

As well as helping retire bonds used to build the terminal, the plan would include paying for some infrastructure improvements, such as enhancing the alternate runway, officials said.

The consultant's contract was put at $90,000, and that cost could be reimbursed through the PFC program, officials said.

Also, airport officials approved a $24,000 contract for the Community Research Council to analyze the economic impact of Lovell Field. Part of the funding will come from a $5,000 grant from Chattanooga's Enterprise Center.

Dan Jacobson, the Airport Authority's chairman, hoped that some of the findings could be finished before the eight months allotted to do the work.

He noted the airport budget is considered in June and July.

Airport Authority member Jim Hall said he wants the airport to generate more support.

"There's a tremendous upside for growth at the airport," he said.

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