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MidAmerica St. Louis Airport  
User currently offlineHockey55dude From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 213 posts, RR: 2
Posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3953 times:

What airlines do you think will serve MidAmerica St. Louis after Great Plains?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3904 times:

ATC delays at STL aren't what they used to be due to AA's pulldown of the old TW hub, which (along with the overall economy) sort of removes some of the incentive for anyone considering alternatives such as BLV. Personally, I think Great Plains is going to have BLV all to themselves for quite awhile.

You might want to check out Mike Boyd's site at http://www.aviationplanning.com and check out the "Hot Flash" section. He had a blurb on Great Plains and BLV within the last few weeks; just scroll down for past issues.


User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3832 times:

BLV still gets charters to LAS I believe. Yeah I agree Gr8t plains will have it for a long time before someone kicks in!! I am from the area so I know a little bit about it as well.


Alex.



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3817 times:

I found the article...


-------------------------------------------------
We Got An Airline. Now Let's Find Someplace To Go

Great Plains Airlines has announced that it will start service at Mid-America Airport, located in bustling Mascoutah, Illinois, with flights to Washington, Chicago, and Tulsa/Oklahoma City. A perfect match. The airport has been a lost puppy (and lost cause) since it was opened several years ago, billed as the "reliever" to STL. Great Plains has been lost, too, thrashing around in and out of markets for the last year or so, trying without much luck to find a place for its two Dornier 328JET airliners.

But now the solution has been found. Start service to key destinations like Chicago and Washington from uncongested Mid-America, in a region with more cows than people. You betcha, Great Plains ought to have a field day against the two dozen or so daily flights from STL to Chicago, not to mention the easy-meat competition represented by the roughly 20 daily departures from STL to Washington. And both markets have that pushover carrier, Southwest.

This whole thing is shaping up like the story of Fred & Goliath. (Not mentioned in the Scriptures, Fred is one of the dozens of guys Goliath squashed flatter than a tortilla before David came along.) We're also seeing more proof that independent regional airlines are a great way to create tax loss carry-forwards. There just are not many places where market demand will fill such airplanes.

Great Plains, for example, is the outgrowth of the second-coming of Ozark. A couple years ago, some investors in Missouri thought it would be a great idea to recreate the wonders and glories of a bygone airline era. Yes! they exclaimed. We'll bring back Ozark! The white airplanes with the stylized green swallows on the tail. Consumers will be thrilled, the founders declared. There were the expected pronouncements like, "we're bringing back Ozark Airlines and the great service it offered to consumers in the Midwest!... everyone remembers the spirit of Ozark..."

As it turned out, consumers didn't give a rip. Ozark's legacy is about as relevant to Missouri as the Ming Dynasty.

No telling how much long green was spent getting a certificate and establishing the "new Ozark" with two - count them, just two - 32-seat Dornier jets. Then came the part the founders didn't think much about - like, where to fly. That was the first big slap of reality. The second was finding out that consumer excitement ran just slightly ahead of watching paint dry. Like the repeated attempts to resuscitate Pan Am, the unfortunate facts were that a) not many folks really remembered Ozark, b) those that did didn't much care, and most important, c) a name by itself is useless - an airline must fill a market need, not fond memories.

After several months of hard work bringing back the glory of the Ozark name to places like Joplin and Columbia, the airline passed on to other investors who received saleable Oklahoma tax credits in return for promising nonstop service to the East and West Coasts. So much for that, the state has found. They paid to get service to Washington and California. They got Mid-America Airport, gateway to the bright lights of Mascoutah, Illinois.

Mid-America and Great Plains. A real combination. An airport that has no real purpose and an airline looking for a place to go.



User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2074 posts, RR: 36
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3757 times:

With Lambert going down in flames, the airport over in Belleville has no purpose. The airport was built back when TW was continually building up its STL ops and the government thought they'd need a reliever. WRONG. 9/11 hit and the rest is history. Airlines will naturally go to STL instead of BLV due to the fact that it is more convenient to biz pax. and in general known much better than BLV. Don't expect much out of BLV in the future, it's a sleepy airport with not much around it. I mean, the STL area didn't need a second commercial airport anyways. Possibly something like Allegiant or TransMeridian flights to LAS or maybe some charter work, that is pushing it in my mind however. We'll see. Griggs stated AirTran will brighten lamberts future, so I doubt FL is a canidate for BLV service.  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineBig777jet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3718 times:

Allegiant Air flew in and out of Mid-America airport a few days ago. The tourists casino charter flight to Bullhead City,AZ on MD-80.

Big777jet



User currently offlineAsqx From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 615 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3670 times:

I honestly doubt that MidAmerica was ever truely intended to be a major commercial airport. Sure Avmats will bring in some maintenance work, and there will be off and on charter/casino flights, but for the most part, MidAmerica will probably never have a bigger terminal than already exists.

However, after reading about what went in to getting the initial funding and the original plans, I seriously doubt that the commercial aspect of the airport was anything more than a gimick to get funding to build the runway. MidAmerica is located adjacent to Scott Air Force Base. The runway at Scottis not the greatest in the world. It was reported a while back that the runway is allegedly unable to support a fully loaded KC-135. Also, for years, the city of Chicago was doing everything it could to get the Air Guard unit that flew KC-135s out of ORD to move. Well, Midway isn't much of an option, and neither would any of the other local airports, apparently.

MidAmerica was built, outwardly, for civilian purposes, in a time where military cutbacks and base closings were a very real and necessary occurance (for budget reasons). The city of Chicargo looks to Scott AFB (which was probably not in any danger of closing) and decides that would be the best place to move the Air Guard (not that they have the authority) and made the suggestion. Of course, the runway there is insufficient for KC-135 operations. Enter the Illinois politicians. They work on getting funding for a new, 10,000ft, concrete runway built at Scott AFB. In a time of military cutbacks, there is no defense funding to pay for it, so they get the local governments, the state of Illinois, and the federal government, in the form of the FAA, to all pitch in funds for a new "commercial" airport to serve the southern Illinios region and to potentially take some of the pressure (ad business) away from Lambert over on the Missouri side of the river in St. Louis.

In the end, Scott AFB get's a new runway, the Air Guard moves out of ORD (at least it was reported that they were moving a while back), and the locals of southern Illinois get a nice little airport with 2 gates, and irregular and inconsistant air service (Pan Am came and went already) and, of course, the bill.

From the times I have been there, MidAmerica would seem to be more of an Air Force base than commercial airport. I've on numerous occasions seen nothing but an unbroken stream of C-9s practicing approaches, and the terminal has seen more use by military personel, and small private planes, than anything else.

Lambert's expansion, which isn't being too drastically cut back, will position it to be the airport of choice when traffic pics up again and someone decides to move in. And seeing as how, unless another airline sets up a hub there, Lambert will probably not reach former TWA traffic levels for a good number of years, it's going to be a long time before they run out of room and go looking for a reliever airport again. I just hope that when they do, they do something a little more serious than MidAmerica.


User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2074 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3570 times:

Asqx,
You are correct, the expansion in STL is still going forward at nearly the same rate. There are some changes however. There was plans for a West terminal similar to the East one they have now, this would expand the gates to over 100. I don't know who they were banking on to fill the new West gates however. Instead of a west terminal now, they are thinking of a completely new terminal to replace the old decrepit main terminal. However still functional and efficient, the current terminal layout is not good. I believe the new terminal is proposed to be on the other side of the runways, where I do not know. I sure hope we get a new one.
MidAmerica still seems like a great alternative, just not needed. Although not economically feasible, I'd like to see Lambert's expansion dropped and MidAmerica turned into the major airport in the area. Big thumbs up


User currently offlineAsqx From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 615 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 3499 times:

When I got the whole expansion speal last spring from the people out at Lambert, the terminal was still a phase 2 or beyond project (the new runway is phase 1). The new terminal was always planned to come after the runway, although, the main projected client, TWA, no longer exists. The plans they showed placed a new airside concourse, in a wierd double Y configuration, to the west of the A concourse. The present A, B, C, and D concourses would be scalled back, with C being the only one with much space remaining, presumedly for international arrivals. I believe D also remained configured for commuter flights, but I'd have to dig out the old diagrams from the presentation. There remained some room for other airlines in the scalled back termain, as TW was to emcompass most, if not all, of the new airside facilities. An underground tram was to link the landside terminal and new airside concourse. The main termainl check-in and baggage claim area remained, but in a modified state. The east terminal would remain pretty much as-is, although there were preliminary plans to lengthen it to the east if the air cargo areas had a place to move to.

The present terminal actually isn't too bad now that they actually take the time to clean it, with a few notable exceptions; among them poor to nonexistant air conditioning in the summer; old, faded, and worn out carpets, seats, and walls; poor lighting; and a few areas where things get a bit too narrow and low cielinged (like where C and D meet). If you don't mind a walk there are actually a few nice places to grab some food. An underground moving walkway from the mid/end of C to D would be nice too, but presently uneconomical for a number of reasons. It would also be nice if they would remove that blasted Burger King from the second level of the main terminal and spread out the ticket counters a bit and did something about the barely 7ft high cielings on the lower level of the main terminal. East terminal is pretty nice though.

MidAmerica is lowsy as a commercial airport. It's simply on the wrong side of the river and too far from where most of the people in the St. Louis area live, which is west of the Mississippi river and west of downtown. Shoot, most people live west of Clayton!

Until you get people to move to places like E. St. Louis, Bellville, and Mascoutah instead of places like O'Fallon (MO), St. Peters, and Chesterfield where they are moving, well, MidAmerica will continue to be an airport out of place, with no real hope for major traffic. The best example of this is to compare the area out around MidAmerica to the Chesterfield valley. Before I moved to Seattle, I worked out at Spirit Airport, and it seemed like every day I went to work another new office building was up for lease and ready for people to move in. Last I checked, Mascoutah, Il isn't exactly the happenin' place to be whether you were a business looking for a place to set up shop or just someone looking for a home. Until someone finds a way to build up the Metro East (and they've tried), nothing big is going to happen to MidAmerica.

If the planners in St. Louis had any real smarts, they would have ditched Lambert and moved west 20 years ago, since that's where the population is sprawling to anyways.


User currently offlineAir1727 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3438 times:

Mid-America Airport is the field of dreams folks. It was never built to pick up capacity slack from Lambert. It was a political carnival by the crooked suits of St. Clair County to feed the growing east side with the possibility of air service and for Scott AFB to get a new piece of real estate because their lawn looked like a Jeff Foxworthy example piece; and it was built with the utmost in ignorance and cloudy foresight. It is an absolute joke in all cases, and will never amount to anything until there is enough o&d in Belleville and surrounding communities to justify air service; heavy modification and repair stations aside. The only time Lambert ever thought of working with Mid-America was when there was a plan to move cargo operations over there; of course with sorting facilities for Federal Express and United Parcel Service in Earth City, that was shot down like a clay pidgeon. Charter work out of Mid-America, such as the Allegiant Air flights for Boyd gaming, are contracts in the surrounding communities in Illinois, not Saint Louis. The busiest Mid-America ever gets is when there are Air Mobility Command charters; which World Airways and other contracts have and still do use the gates since the demise of the Air Mobility Command office at Lambert. Lambert needs a completely new terminal. The days of putting mayonnaise on dirt need to end, but without enough green paper, the vomit stained purple carpet will do. The first plans to move Lambert to a new location was to Waterloo, Illinois back in the early nineties. Of course, it was frowned upon because of its distance from the metro areas, and also because it had a massive problem with political collusion with developers and land owners that the Illinois government found out about and flushed the whole project down the toilet. Lambert needed to be moved out west, into Saint Charles or Warren Counties since that was the growth pattern, but that did not happen either. With the millions of dollars put into the airport for expansion and refurbishment, and the lobbying from commerce because of its close location to the city and county areas, Lambert is not going anywhere. The only time Mid-America is entertained is when Lambert has an inbound troubled aircraft such as a gear up situation, and they don't want a mess on their property. The new runway at Lambert is no more than piece meal with westerly operation taxi fuel costs that makes Atlanta seem like a walk in the park. It will help in times of IMC which plagued Lambert for many years, and that is all. With the reduction of movements, it could easily be rented out to the NHRA part of the time for racing.  Big grin

User currently offlineBoingGoingGone From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3431 times:

Mid America was dead long before 9/11. The whole project was flawed. They simply built it without setting in motion a transition from STL. Great idea getting it out of town, dumb idea building an airport when it wasn't really needed.

User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2074 posts, RR: 36
Reply 11, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3373 times:

Asqx, I would kill to see those plans, if you would dig them up, I would really appreciate it. Big thumbs up

User currently offlineAir1727 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3340 times:

LambertMan, you can easily get them. Call the port authority, tell them you are an aviation student doing an airport management or planning class of some kind, and would like to use Lambert Field as your focus airport. They will send you a press kit, with plenty of information, plus be sure to ask for master plan information such as proposed expansions, etc etc. There is nothing secret about that information. There is more than one proposal also for both the runway and terminal projects; although the one Asqx mentioned plus one other has the most pull right now.

User currently onlineBHMNONREV From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1373 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (10 years 11 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3301 times:

To be perfectly honest, Lambert has been a dinosaur for over 30 years. The only reason it is still in existence is due to the "tireless" efforts of the director, the honorable Col. Leonard Griggs, who has looked out for the best interests of himself and the rest of his cronies, and NOT the best interests of the Greater St. Louis Metro area.

The Columbia/Waterloo area was actually chosen back in the 60's as the site which would eventually replace Lambert. Good area, good access, and relatively close to downtown St. Louis. But Mr. Griggs came along and convinced the politicians that Lambert Field could meet the needs of the St. Louis area for an indefinite period. Besides, why should all of that money associated with an airport operation make its' way to the state of Illinois. Who cares what is best for the region, let's look after ourselves first...So the Col/Wat proposal was shelved in favor for Lambert expansion. Over the years this has turned into an absolute disaster, with buyouts of entire neighborhoods and creating noise problems in many others. This "new" western runway has completely wiped out the north side of the Natural Bridge corridor, forcing residents in Carrollton Oaks and other subdivisions to pack up and head elsewhere. And for what?? A billion dollar plus runway which in all actuality will not decrease delays at Lambert by nearly enough to justify the costs. A previous poster mentioned taxi times, when landing to the west a Southwest 737 will have to taxi approximately three miles to make his gate at the East Terminal. Wonder how much LUV WN will have for expansion when they see their fuel costs skyrocket. Lambert is one big pile of crap, and no matter how much dirt you throw on it, the stink will eventually make it's way back to the top.

It does not matter where you build an airport, provided you have ample room for growth. People still have to get from A to B, so St. Charles county or Mascoutah, who cares.

As far as the original post, a few years ago I saw some preliminary drawings of an expanded Mid-America with a four parallel runway, midfield configuration layout. And for not much more money than our "expanded" pile of dung along I-70. Certainly easier and cheaper to displace a few herd of cows than a few thousand people......


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