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Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport leaders are still working to get a direct flight to New York City; they are applying for a federal grant—which they didn't get in 2014—to attract a new carrier to provide the service. 

"The New York market is our largest market not currently served with nonstop service," Terry Hart, CEO of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority, said via email. 

Community and business leaders have been asking for a nonstop flight to NYC for years. 

But there are challenges to overcome because airlines don't want to take risks; they don't want to lose money. To come into a new market, they need to know the flights will be successful. 

"Our biggest challenge is convincing the air carriers to take a risk," Hart also said. "With capacity reductions and less aircraft, it is difficult for them just to put an airplane on a new route. They are usually taking it from some other route."

To help mitigate the risk for airlines, airport officials will be applying for a federal Department of Transportation grant through the Small Community Air Service Development Program. Leaders applied unsuccessfully in 2014. Click here to read more about that. 

Airport officials are still discussing how much they will ask for, and the maximum amount would be $750,000, Hart said. 

If local leaders get the grant, they will talk with all carriers about the potential for a flight to NYC, he also said.