Chattanooga Airport Partners With Technology-Based Research Organization

Firm's research at Airport to bring $4 million in technology to Lovell Field

(January 18, 2004) - The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority announced today that they are teaming with National Safe Skies Alliance, a nonprofit security testing organization, to test hi-tech security equipment at Lovell Field. The partnership will bring $4 million in technology and manpower into the Chattanooga Airport and the local community.

"Safe Skies is offering our airport and our community a great opportunity to participate in a program that is raising the bar in airport security," said Mike Landguth, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority. "This program, and the benefits it brings to the community, would not be possible without the strong leadership of Congressman Zach Wamp and the partnership our airport enjoys with area first responders including Hamilton County Emergency Management, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, Chattanooga Police Department and the Chattanooga Fire Department."

The Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is tasked through federal regulations with conducting a full-scale emergency exercise every 36 months. The next tri-annual drill is scheduled for 2005. That exercise will serve as the baseline for operational testing by Safe Skies, who will then evaluate the drill and implement the technology systems they deem most helpful for coordination between airport officials and area first responders. A second full-scale emergency exercise will he held approximately six months later to evaluate the effectiveness of the new technology.

"Safe Skies chose Chattanooga as a test site because the local agencies already have a strong relationship and close communication," said Jeff Cornett, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Safe Skies. "Our ultimate goal in Chattanooga is to tie all of those emergency services into a communication system that will set the standard for the nation."

Safe Skies has already begun preliminary testing at Lovell Field in preparation for the airport's first full-scale drill scheduled for this spring.