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St. Louis' Second Airport  
User currently offlineJetpixx From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 845 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3072 times:

I know that a few years back, they opened a new airport in Mascoutah, IL - I believe it was called Mid-continent Airport. Do any airlines fly here and does anyone have anything good to say about it if they flew through there. I am sure the demise of TW in STL did not help the development, but I remember hearing quite a bit about this a few years back and lately nothing.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN777UA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

A couple airlines have tried service to MidAmerica airport. Pan Am 3 tried Chicago/Gary but pulled out due to lack of demand, and Great Plains tried service there but have since gone out of business.

Building an airport in the heart of southern Illinois was a horrible idea...St Louis didn't need a second airport in the first place, and with TWA gone, Lambert itself has an entire terminal empty.

Mid America airport is used, however, by Scott Air Force Base...so there are airplanes there.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3034 times:

For the first couple of years BLV was open, there was not a single passenger airline that flew there, with no hope of any airliners serving the airport. I remember reading about how they had employees, but no customers to serve. There have been the two airlines mentioned in earlier posts, and the only airline service they currently see is Allegiant's charter service to RNO and IFP. The airport seems to be refocusing itself as a cargo airport, with a new cargo facility schedule to open next March. With the airport sharing facilities with Scott AFB, the runways are able to handle even the largest cargo a/c. The original idea for Mid America Airport was as a reliver airport for STL, because at the time, they were having trouble with expansion plans @ STL. But things happened that made the airport less and less needed

User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2978 times:

St Louis didn't need a second airport in the first place

Beg to differ. Until the new runway came online, STL was nearing max capacity... But with TW gone, the new runway project is almost superfluous...




Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3148 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2915 times:

BLV is a complete waste of taxpayer money. They are currently building a huge cargo facility to try and entice some international cargo carriers in. Not working. Scott has few aircraft based there and they are threatening to totally retire the C-9s which comprise a unit there.

The only people that use that airport now are an occasional INS flight or Justice Department flight, and a few people that like to land on 10,000 runways with no traffic. The airforce has Scott AFB located next door. They have their own runway but share a control tower. The civilian side is rarely used by the military and the military side is almost never used by civilians. To be honest, that airport was always over the top. I've never heard Allegiant calling on Unicom to BLV. I had no idea that they go in there.

And yes, I feel STL does need the runway. After it is completed the first major bought of bad weather will prove this as they will have adequate separation to use two runways for landing. Also, all that extra space would allow the cargo carriers, all of which have sorting facilities on sight or near by, extra space to expand if they wish.



DMI
User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5179 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2866 times:

BLV is often cited as the argument for expanding ORD, rather than building a third airport.

User currently offlineMidway2airtran From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 864 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2793 times:

I've driven by it many times and have yet to see any action on that long runway. They do have a couple of flight schools and some company that decs out business jets there.


"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2777 times:

BLV is often cited as the argument for expanding ORD, rather than building a third airport
----

And rightly so. Build new runways at Ohare and they will be used big time. Even existing traffic strains that airport to the breaking point. Build a new airport at Peotone and maybe a few teenagers will break in to drink at the end of the empty runway, if you are lucky. Just as it is said that a bank will only loan money to you if you don't need it, the only place and airport or runway can be built is at a place where it is not needed.

What we end up with is huge facilities being built in the middle of nowhere in a vane effort to fight economic realities, while needed runways go unbuilt because there are too many NIMBY's nearby.

With MidAmerica, I have a vague memory that they were hoping a link to the light rail and freeway system, along with lower costs and less congestion, could entice Southwest to move out there. At the time, Southwest's gates in the East terminal were not very good, and there was a lot of congestion from TWA. After the construction of the East terminal, and American's drawdown of the ex-TWA hub, there was no longer any reason for Southwest to move. MidAmerica's proponents were also forgetting that the secondary airports WN serves tend to be CLOSER or at least the same distance from the cities they serve than the main airports, and Mid America is definitely farther away for the vast majority of the Metro area. Where this is not the case (as with Islip), it is in suburban areas that are FAR richer, more populous, and faster growing than Southern Illinois. Perhaps someone else could fill us in on more of the specifics.....

But all in all, the people who pushed for MidAmerica simply did not consider how secondary airports succeed and fail in the real world. They had a Field of Dreams like "If you build it, they will come" attitude. In order to create markets in that way, you have to give people a real reason to come. Just building is not enough. The only reasons they could come up with are reasons that mattered to them(airport costs, congestion, development of depressed regions, noise, etc) but didn't matter to most travelers.

Most of the time, air traffic does not create economic development. Air traffic generally FOLLOWS economic development. In the rare instances where air traffic does create economic development (South Padre, for example) I can't think of a single case in recent memory where the cause was a new airport or runway. Perhaps there are a few, but I cannot think of any. Most of the time, the cause is a low-cost carrier entering a region. Even then, there needs to be enough development in the area close to the airport to attract the LCC in the first place.

but IN SHORT......New runways will certainly not attract more air traffic unless existing traffic to the region NEAR THE AIRPORT has pretty much maxed out the available capacity. Even then sometimes it does not work, just look at DEN. There are places we desperately need new runways, but those are the very places that have the most NIMBY's who won't let anyone build anything.


User currently offlineAsqx From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2749 times:

MidAmerica, at least as a commercial service airport, was a total joke from the start. The USAF needed a new runway at Scott and couldn't get the appropriations money to start redoing the existing runway until 2005 at the earliest. Mayor Daily wanted the ANG out of ORD. The foolish governments of southern Illinois thought they could attract traffic from Lambert by building a runway out in the middle of nowhere, 25miles from downtown St Louis and 50miles from the suburbs where people actually live.

By drawing on FAA and local government funding, instead of going through the military appropriations process, the USAF years and possibly even a decade before the it would have fit into the military budget, Mayor Daily got his wish (I think, don't know if the ANG moved or not), and the people of southern Illinois ended up paying the bill for an otherwise worthless slab of concrete.

Lambert didn't need a new runway, it needed, and still needs in my opinion, to be replaced by an airport with proper facilities and a layout designed from the start to handle the number of flights Griggs wants, not that there is much chance of him getting them. BLV is in no way part of a solution to the long term air travel needs (and wants) of St. Louis.


User currently offlineKennedy1 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2677 times:

I flew out of Midway on Pan Am to Chicago once. It was a very nice airport. Obviously very clean (because no one uses it). I was only in the terminal maybe 25 minutes total.

I drive past there fairly often when I'm home and there is really nothing that goes on there. A few small single engine planes, an ocassional military jet and every now and then I'll see a bizjet of some sort. I think they definitely should have focused more on getting Lambert up to far since it is a total dump rather than building an airport that does literally nothing.


User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2070 posts, RR: 36
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2670 times:

I was at Lambert the other day and I was actually impressed at how much better it looked than in previous occasions. Concourse C was clean, and the new carpet made a huge difference. A Brooks Brothers (for sure) and Urban Outfitters (possibly) will setup shop in C along with 2 new restaurants. I believe they are installing flat screen monitors in the coming months as well. When my parents compared it to O'hare they said it was cleaner, and (obviously) much easier ot get around. However The D and the A concourse still need alot of work....

User currently offlineCkfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5179 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2664 times:

Asqx:

There was a lot of griping about moving the ANG out of ORD, mostly by locals who were assigned. But Mayor Daley had several legitimate reasons for doing it.

First, the Air Force was not subject to the slot controls that the FAA imposed on the commercial carriers. Get rid of the Air Force, and the number of slots increase.

Second, I don't know what the Air Force paid for its ground facilities and landing fees, but my guess is that it was less than what ORD charges the airlines. Those KC-135s put as much wear and tear on the runways as 757s and A321s.

Third, United had been bursting at the seams at HQ in Elk Grove Village, and was very interested in building an office campus where some of the ANG hangers are located. September 11th put that plan on hold.


User currently offlineScutfarcus From United States of America, joined May 2000, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2655 times:

Yeah, that Mid-America airport is silly. If they really think they need a limited service second airpot, St. Louis Downtown Parks would be perfect - much better, more central locations and no nimbys except a few toxic factories.

User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5791 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2655 times:

I've never heard Allegiant calling on Unicom to BLV. I had no idea that they go in there.

They should be showing up anytime. There is a charter scheduled for today, July 15, out of BLV to IFP. Departure is listed as 3:45pm. The return flight is Sunday, July 18 with a scheduled arrival at BLV of 1:35pm.

The next flight out of BLV for G4 is scheduled for September.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13040 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2649 times:

Could BLV be used as a reliever airport during severe weather or other issues for airports in that region (ORD, Midway, STL)? By this I mean where a/c could land and park until traffic clears up at other airports.

User currently offlineJmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

scutfarcus:

Parks airport is a general aviation airport, and though it righ across the river from downtown, it would be able to handle large traffic.

Mid America is way to far from the population centers of St. Louis, e.g. St Louis County and St Charles, and even Jefferson.

The idea of Mid America had its merits during the time of TWA and the W1W fight, but now the market has changed, and BLV is and will always be an airport ever waiting for an airline.



Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offlineKennedy1 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2615 times:

Is Parks not in East St. Louis? That area would need major clean up and renovation before it is suitable for anything at all.

User currently offlineJmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2594 times:

Parks is in the City of Chaokia, though very close to east St.Louis. I believe it has a 7,000 ft run way, but I could be wrong. It's still, as far as I know, owned by Bi-State, (now called Metro) who run Metro Link and the bus system in the St. Louis area.
Still, what would be the point now of using Parks, Lambert is getting a new run way, and there is plenty of gate space now, and Mid America sits empty.

[Edited 2004-07-15 20:33:56]


Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3148 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2491 times:

Parks has a 7000 foot runway, I fly out of there all the time. My flight school is based there. I'm pretty sure it's third or fourth in the state in terms of number of operations there daily. In fact, BLV is way down on the list in terms of local reliever airports. Alton (ALN), Spirit of St. Louis (SUS) and Downtown (CPS) are all busier.

As for a reliever airport, BLV is way too close to STL to be considered for that and if ORD shuts down airlines will send their aircraft where they have their employees on the ground or a contract to service the aircraft. No such thing exists at BLV. They also don't have an underground hydrant fueling system so fueling heavies can be a real pain in the rear. I know, our FBO only has 5,000 gallon trucks and fueling big aircraft can be fun when they need 100,000lb uplifts.



DMI
User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5008 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2482 times:

Air Midwest used to fly to Parks years ago, with service to MKC (Kansas City Downtown). It is closer to downtown, OK for business travel but the population and the $$$ moves ever west of St Louis City, not east. And BLV is not convenient to ANYONE on the west side of the river....
There is a population base in the area of BLV, but whether it will ever support airline service is debatable.



Next Up: STL-LGA-RIC-ATL-STL
User currently offlineLambertMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2070 posts, RR: 36
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2478 times:

There are about 700,000 (2.15 million on west) people on the east side of the river, which is certainly more than enough to draw from. When it comes down to it a number of things can be attributed to why people from the east side would use Lambert anyways. It's more well known, and tons of people in the metro have AA freq. flyer miles. People actually are starting to recognize that American does indeed exist at Lambert, after "the cuts". I continue to see incredible loyalty to AA among the St Louis community and it shows in the absence of red ink on the balance sheet......



User currently offline7E72004 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2406 times:

Didn't Ozark (the second one) serve Mid America for a bit? Or was that Columbia?


The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 weeks ago) and read 2315 times:

You may be thinking of Great Planes, which bought Ozark's assets. They did serve that airport for awhile. Soon afterwards the airline died.

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