Case Study

How the Chattanooga Airport got its domed copper roof replaced after a violent storm


The Chattanooga Airport is a passenger, cargo, and general aviation airport serving America’s Southeastern region. In 1964, the airport’s operators constructed a new terminal with a shiny domed copper roof. Although there were complaints the glare from the roof was troublesome for the pilots flying in and out of the airport, the roof served the airport well until recently.

In 2019, a storm passed over the airport packed with extreme straight-line winds. During the storm, the airport’s terminal was struck by a microburst of wind that blew off pieces of the domed roof. Not only did the storm leave the roof exposed to the elements, but blowing and falling debris damaged other portions of the roof.

“The microburst tore off roughly fifty percent of the terminal’s roof,” said Terry Hart, President and CEO of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority. “The wind was so strong that it simply peeled back and removed large pieces of the copper roof. All that was left was underlying structure.”

Fortunately, the airport found a contractor to secure what was left of the roof and protect the interior from future weather events. This still left Terry needing to find a roofing company that could replace the unique roof.

Shown: The Chattanooga Airport roof prior to the storm in 2019

“Not only was the MRB Contractors team great people to work with, but they also did an excellent job. It was a big, complex project that was a huge success.”

Terry Hart | President and CEO, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority


Terry found MRB Contractors with the help of the airport’s insurance provider. After assessing the roof’s condition, the MRB team decided it was necessary to remove the remainder of the copper dome and install a new roofing system.

“We understood that the remaining copper would have to be removed,” said Terry. “That was fine with us, but we wanted to keep the copper color while also avoiding issues with pilot visibility.”

MRB recommended a prefinished, copper-colored metal roofing system to meet Terry’s objectives. However, the installation was complex due to several issues. For starters, the structure of the domed roof was intricate. The airport was also in full operation during the roof replacement. Furthermore, MRB had to get its installers approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to enter the site because the team had to access the runway and boarding areas of the airport.

The project was completed on schedule, and everyone was pleased with the way the new roof looked and performed.


The Chattanooga Airport has a water-tight roofing system made of a resilient material that closely matches the original terminal dome in shape, function, and color. “We were very lucky to find MRB,” said Terry. “Everything they said they would do, they did. And it all turned out fantastic.”

“Not only was the MRB Contractors team great people to work with, but they also did an excellent job. It was a big, complex project that was a huge success.”
* Terry Hart, President and CEO at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority

Shown: The Chattanooga Airport roof installed by MRB Contractors

MRB Contractors strives to be a leader in the roofing industry while providing quality roofing systems and unparalleled customer service. We work daily to cultivate a culture of honor that develops a team of high performers who create long term value for our clients by consistently exceeding expectations.