Modernization Hub

Modernization and Improvement
St. Louis Lambert International Airport | Wikipedia audio article

St. Louis Lambert International Airport | Wikipedia audio article

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (IATA:
STL, ICAO: KSTL, FAA LID: STL), formerly Lambert–St. Louis International Airport, is an international
airport serving St. Louis, Missouri, United States. It is 14 miles (23 km) northwest of downtown
St. Louis in unincorporated St. Louis County between Berkeley and Bridgeton. Commonly referred to as Lambert Field or simply
Lambert, it is the largest and busiest airport in Missouri with over 270 daily departures
to over 80 domestic and international locations. In 2017, 14.7 million passengers traveled
through the airport. The airport is a focus city for Southwest
Airlines and serves as a hub for Air Choice One and Cape Air, and was formerly a hub for
Ozark Air Lines, Trans World Airlines, and American Airlines. It is the largest U.S. airport classified
as a medium-sized primary hub and currently the second busiest after Dallas–Love.St.
Louis Lambert International Airport is the primary airport in the St. Louis area, with
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, about 37 miles (59 km) east, serving as a secondary metropolitan
commercial airport. The two airports are connected by the Red
Line of the city’s light rail mass transit system, the MetroLink. Both airports are currently served by commercial
passenger airlines. Named for Albert Bond Lambert, an Olympic
medalist and prominent St. Louis aviator, the airport rose to international prominence
in the 20th century thanks to its association with Charles Lindbergh, its groundbreaking
air traffic control, its status as the primary hub of Trans World Airlines, and its iconic
terminal. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the building
inspired terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Charles de Gaulle
Airport in Paris, France.==History=====
Beginnings===The airport originated as a balloon launching
base called Kinloch Field, part of the 1890s Kinloch Park suburban development. The Wright brothers and their Exhibition Team
visited the field while touring with their aircraft. During a visit to St. Louis, Theodore Roosevelt
flew with pilot Arch Hoxsey on October 11, 1910, becoming the first U.S. president to
fly. Later, Kinloch hosted the first experimental
parachute jump.In June 1920, the Aero Club of St. Louis leased 170 acres of cornfield,
the defunct Kinloch Racing Track and the Kinloch Airfield in October 1923, during The International
Air Races. The field was officially dedicated as Lambert–St.
Louis Flying Field in honor of Albert Bond Lambert, an Olympic silver medalist golfer
in the 1904 Summer Games, president of Lambert Pharmaceutical Corporation (which made Listerine),
and the first person to receive a pilot’s license in St. Louis. In February 1925, “Major” (his ‘rank’ was
given by the Aero Club and not the military) Lambert bought the field and added hangars
and a passenger terminal. Charles Lindbergh’s first piloting job was
flying airmail for Robertson Aircraft Corporation from Lambert Field; he left the airport for
New York about a week before his record-breaking flight to Paris in 1927. In February 1928, the City of St. Louis leased
the airport for $1. Later that year, Lambert sold the airport
to the City after a $2 million bond issue was passed, making it one of the first municipally-owned
airport in the United States.In the late 1920s, Lambert Field became the first airport with
an air traffic control system–albeit one that communicated with pilots via waving flags. The first controller was Archie League.In
1925, the airport became home to Naval Air Station St. Louis, a Naval Air Reserve facility
that became an active-duty installation during World War II.In 1930, the airport was officially
christened Lambert–St. Louis Municipal Airport by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd. The first terminal building opened in 1933.By
the 1930s, Robertson Air Lines, Marquette Airlines and Eastern Air Lines provided passenger
service to St. Louis, as did Trans World Airlines.In August 1942, voters passed a $4.5 million
bond issue to expand the airport by 867 acres and build a new terminal.During World War
II, the airport became a manufacturing base for McDonnell Aircraft and Curtiss-Wright.===1945–1982: Post World War II expansion;
Ozark Airlines hub===After the war, NAS St. Louis reverted to a
reserve installation, supporting carrier-based fighters and land-based patrol aircraft. When it closed in 1958, most of its facilities
were acquired by the Missouri Air National Guard and became Lambert Field Air National
Guard Base. Some other facilities were retained by non-flying
activities of the Naval Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve, while the rest was redeveloped
to expand commercial airline operations at the airport.Ozark Air Lines began operations
at the airport in 1950.To handle the increasing passenger traffic, Minoru Yamasaki was commissioned
to design a new terminal at Lambert, which began construction in 1953. Completed in 1956 at a total cost of $7.2
million, the three-domed design preceded terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport in
New York City and Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport. A fourth dome was added in 1965 following
the passage of a $200 million airport revenue bond.The April 1957 Official Airline Guide
shows TWA with 44 weekday departures; American, 24; Delta, 16; Ozark, 14; Eastern, 13; Braniff,
six and Central, two. The first jets were TWA 707s in July 1959.In
1971, the airport officially became Lambert–St. Louis International Airport.In the 1970s St.
Louis city officials proposed to replace the airport with a new one in suburban Illinois. After Missouri residents objected in 1977,
Lambert received a $290-million expansion that lengthened the runways, increased the
number of gates to 81, and boosted its capacity by 50 percent. (A proposed Illinois airport was later built,
though not near the originally proposed site; MidAmerica St. Louis Airport opened in 1997
in Mascoutah, Illinois. As of 2018 the only scheduled passenger service
is nonstop flights operated by Allegiant Air.) Concourse A and Concourse C were rebuilt into
bi-level structures equipped with jet bridges as part of a $25 million project in the mid-1970s
designed by Sverdrup. The other concourses were demolished. Construction began in the spring of 1976 and
was completed in September 1977. A $20 million, 120,000-square-foot (11,000
m2) extension of Concourse C for TWA and a $46 million, 210,000-square-foot (20,000 m2)
Concourse D for Ozark Airlines also designed by Sverdrup were completed in December 1982.Ozark
Airlines established its only hub at Lambert in the late 1950s. The airline grew rapidly, going from 36 million
revenue passenger miles in 1955, to 229 million revenue passenger miles in 1965. The jet age came to Ozark in 1966 with the
Douglas DC-9-10 and its network expanded to Denver, Indianapolis, Louisville, Washington,
D.C., New York City, Miami, Tampa and Orlando. With the addition of jets, Ozark began its
fastest period of growth, jumping to 653 million revenue passenger miles by 1970 and 936 million
revenue passenger miles by 1975; Ozark soon faced heavy competition in TWA’s new hub at
Lambert, however. By 1979, the year after airline deregulation,
STL’s dominant carriers were TWA (36 routes) and Ozark (25), followed by American (17)
and Eastern (12). Other carriers at STL around this time included
Air Illinois, Air Indiana, Braniff, Britt, Brower, Delta, Frontier, Northwest Orient,
Republic, Texas International, Trans-Mo and USAir.===1982–2001: Trans World Airlines hub
===After airline deregulation in 1978, airlines
began to realign their operations around a hub and spoke model. Trans World Airlines (TWA) was headquartered
in New York City but its main base of employment was at Kansas City International Airport and
had large operations at Chicago O’Hare International Airport as well as St. Louis. TWA deemed Kansas City terminals as unsuitable
to serve as a primary hub. TWA reluctantly ruled out Chicago, as its
Chicago operation was already losing $25 million a year under competition from American Airlines
and United Airlines. This meant that St. Louis was the carrier’s
only viable option. TWA proceeded to downsize Chicago and build
up St. Louis, swapping three Chicago gates for five of American’s St. Louis gates. By December 1982, St. Louis accounted for
20% of TWA’s domestic capacity. Lambert’s terminal was initially too small
for this operation, and TWA was forced to use temporary terminals, mobile lounges and
airstairs to handle the additional flights. After Concourse D was completed in 1985, TWA
began transatlantic service from Lambert to London, Frankfurt and Paris.TWA’s hub grew
again in 1986 when the airline bought Ozark Airlines, which operated its hub from Lambert’s
B, C, and D concourses. In 1985, TWA had accounted for 56.6% of boardings
at STL while Ozark accounted for 26.3%, so the merged carriers controlled over 80% of
the traffic. As of 1986, TWA served STL with nonstop service
to 84 cities, an increase from 80 cities served by TWA and/or Ozark in 1985, before the merger. Despite the entry of Southwest Airlines in
the market in 1985, the TWA buyout of Ozark and subsequent increase in the nonstop cities
served, the number of passengers using Lambert held steady from 1985 through 1993, ranging
between 19 million and 21 million passengers per year throughout the period. Lambert again grew in importance for TWA after
the airline declared bankruptcy in 1992 and moved its headquarters to St. Louis from Mount
Kisco, NY in 1993. TWA increased the number of cities served
and started routing more connecting passengers through its hub at Lambert: the total number
of passengers using Lambert rose from 19.9 million passengers enplaned in 1993 to 23.4
million in 1994, jumping almost 20% in one year. Growth continued, with total enplaned passengers
jumping to 27.3 million by 1997 and 30.6 million in 2000, the highest level in its history.By
the late 1990s, Lambert was TWA’s dominant hub, with 515 daily flights to 104 cities
as of September 1999. Of those 515 flights, 352 were on TWA mainline
aircraft and 163 were Trans World Express flights operated by its commuter airline partners. During this period, Lambert Field was ranked
as the eighth-busiest U.S. airport by flights (not by total passengers), largely due to
TWA’s hub operations, Southwest Airlines’ growing traffic, and commuter traffic to smaller
cities in the region. Congestion caused delays during peak hours
and was exacerbated when bad weather reduced the number of usable runways from three to
one. To cope, Lambert officials briefly redesignated
the taxiway immediately north of runway 12L–30R as runway 13–31 and used it for commuter
and general aviation traffic. Traffic projections made in the 1980s and
1990s predicted yet more growth, however: enough to strain the airport and the national
air traffic system.These factors led to the planning and construction of a 9,000-foot
runway, dubbed Runway 11/29, parallel to the two larger existing runways. At $1.1 billion, it was the costliest public
works program in St. Louis history. It required moving seven major roads and destroying
about 2,000 homes, six churches, and four schools in Bridgeton, Missouri. Work began in 1998 and continued even as traffic
at the airport declined after the 9/11 attacks, the collapse of TWA and its subsequent purchase
by American, and American’s flight reductions several years later. As of 2018, the runway is used for approximately
12% of all takeoffs and landings.===2001–2009: American Airlines hub; closure
of Air National Guard base===As TWA entered the new millennium, its financial
condition proved too precarious to continue alone and in January 2001, American Airlines
announced it was buying TWA, which was completed in April of that year. The last day of operations for TWA was December
1, 2001, including a ceremonial last flight to TWA’s original and historic hometown of
Kansas City before returning to St. Louis one final time. The following day, TWA was officially absorbed
into American Airlines. The plan for Lambert was to become a reliever
hub for the existing American hubs at Chicago–O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth. American was looking at something strategic
with its new St. Louis hub to potentially offload some of the pressure on O’Hare as
well as providing a significant boost to the airline’s east/west connectivity.The September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks were a huge demand shock to air service nationwide, with total
airline industry domestic revenue passenger miles dropping 20% in October 2001 and 17%
in November 2001. Overnight, American no longer had the same
need for a hub that bypassed its hubs at Chicago and Dallas, which suddenly became less congested. As a result of this and the ongoing economic
recession, service at Lambert was subsequently reduced over the course of the next few years;
to 207 flights by November 2003. Total passenger traffic dropped to 20.4 million
that same year. On the international front, flights to Paris
went to seasonal in December 2001 and transatlantic service was soon discontinued altogether when
American dropped flights to London in late 2003.In 2006, the United States Air Force
announced plans to turn the 131st Fighter Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard into
the 131st Bomb Wing. The wing’s 20 F-15C and F-15D aircraft were
moved to the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing at Great Falls International
Airport/Air National Guard Base, Montana and the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing
at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. The pilots and maintainers moved to Whiteman
AFB, Missouri to fly and maintain the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber as the first Air National
Guard wing to fly the aircraft. Lambert Field Air National Guard Base formally
shut down on June 13, 2009 when the final two F-15C Eagles did a low approach over the
field and then flew away, ending an 86-year chapter of Lambert’s history.2006 also saw
the completion of the W-1W airport expansion after 8 years of work. The culmination of this program was the opening
of Runway 11/29, the airport’s fourth, on April 13, 2006 when American Airlines Flight
2470 became the first commercial airliner to land on the new runway.In 2007, airport
officials announced the largest renovation in the airport’s history: a $70 million effort
to overhaul Terminal 1 called “The Airport Experience Project.” Planned renovations included updating and
modernizing the interior, redesigning signage, and modernizing the baggage system. The first phase of the project began in 2008,
with the replacement of signage in order to improve navigation inside the terminal, replacement
of the baggage handling system, and renovation of the domed vaults of the ticketing hall. Bonds were issued in 2009 to assist with funding.In
2008, Lambert’s position as an American Airlines hub faced further pressure due to increased
fuel costs and softened demand because of a depressed economy. American cut its overall system capacity by
over 5% during 2008. At Lambert, American shifted more flights
from mainline to regional. Total passengers enplaned fell 6% to 14.4
million in 2008, then fell another 11% to 12.8 million passengers in 2009.In September
2009, American Airlines announced that as a part of the airline’s restructuring, it
would eliminate its St. Louis hub by reducing its operations from approximately 200 daily
flights to 36 daily flights to nine destinations in the summer of 2010. These cuts ended the remaining hub operation. American’s closure of the St. Louis hub coincided
with its new “Cornerstone” plan, wherein the airline would concentrate itself in several
major markets: Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles.===2009–2017: Southwest expansion; rebirth
of the airport===In early October 2009, Southwest Airlines
announced the addition of 6 daily flights to several cities as an immediate response
to the cutbacks announced by American Airlines. Then on October 21, 2009, Southwest announced
that it would increase service with a “major expansion” in St. Louis by May 2010. The airline announced it would begin flying
nonstop from St. Louis to 6 new cities for a new total of 31 destinations, increasing
the number of daily departures from 74 to 83. This had the effect of replacing American
as the carrier with the most daily flights after American’s service cuts in summer 2010.The
airport hit its nadir in 2010 following the closure of the American hub in the midst of
the Great Recession, ending the year with the lowest passenger and airplane movement
statistics of any modern year on record. Fortunately for the airport, Southwest’s announced
expansion at Lambert immediately began to fill in for many of the holes left by the
demise of the hub. What followed were several years of steady
growth by Southwest that maintained passenger numbers at a fairly steady level, allowing
airport leadership time to shift priorities and begin the long road to recovery in earnest. Complicating recovery was the ‘Good Friday
tornado’. At about 8:10 p.m. on April 22, 2011, an EF4
tornado struck the airport’s Terminal 1, destroying jetways and breaking more than half of the
windows. One plane from Southwest Airlines was damaged
when the wind pushed a baggage conveyor belt into it. Four American Airlines planes were damaged,
including one that was buffeted by 80 mph crosswinds while taxiing after landing. Another aircraft, with passengers still aboard,
was moved away from its jetway by the storm. The FAA closed the airport at 08:54 pm CDT,
then reopened it the following day at temporarily lower capacity. The damage to Concourse C even forced several
airlines to use vacant gates in the B and D concourses. The TSA would later declare Lambert Airport
its “Airport of the Year” for “exceptional courtesy [and] high-quality security” as well
as the “excellent response by airport officials during and after the tornado”. In the meantime, the tornado and subsequent
damage to the terminal facilities accelerated the timeline for the “Airport Experience Program”,
a large-scale renovation of the interior spaces of Terminal 1 and its concourses. Concourse C underwent renovations and repairs
and finally reopened on April 2, 2012.One of the first true indications of the airport’s
recovery was in May 2013, when several credit agencies improved their evaluations of the
airport’s finances. Moody’s raised its rating on Lambert Airport’s
bonds to A3 with a stable outlook from Baa1 with a stable outlook. Standard & Poor’s (S&P) raised its rating
to A- with a stable outlook from A- with a negative outlook. This was the first time in more than a decade
that both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s ratings for the Airport had both been in the single
“A” category. Earlier in the month, Fitch Ratings upgraded
outstanding airport revenue bonds to ‘BBB+’ from ‘BBB’ with a stable outlook. The rating agencies attributed the upgrades
to strong fiscal management and positive passenger traffic.In 2015, the airport released a new
Five Year Strategic Plan. The overall mission statement of the airport
was given as “connecting [the St. Louis] region with the world”, while also detailed were
four major strategic objectives: Strengthening Financial Sustainability; Sustaining and Growing
Passenger Air Service; Creating a Positive and Lasting Impression for the Region; and
Generating Economic Development. The plan went into detail regarding each objective,
listing overall measures of success and potential methods to attain successful outcomes. Some of the given measures of success are
reducing costs per enplaned passenger, reducing the airport’s debt service, maximizing sources
of revenue (primarily non-aviation), increasing passenger throughput, gaining new passenger
services, improving satisfaction survey scores, and increasing revenue from cargo.In January
2016, the airport completed renovations of Terminal 1, concluding more than seven years
of planning and renovation work throughout the airport.In late 2016, the City of St.
Louis announced it would either keep the name Lambert–St. Louis International Airport
or change it to St. Louis International Airport at Lambert Field. This effort to re-brand was brought about
to further freshen up the airport’s image and also to emphasize the importance of ‘St.
Louis’ in the name, as research carried out at the behest of the city government had found
that the current name had the potential to confuse travelers.The decision was not without
controversy, however: descendants of Albert Bond Lambert opposed moving ‘Lambert’ to the
end of the name as they argued it de-emphasized the importance of Maj. Lambert to both the
airport’s history and the history of aviation in general. Thus, the proposal was amended, and the St.
Louis Airport Commission voted unanimously to change the name of the airport to St. Louis
Lambert International Airport on September 7, 2016. The proposal thereafter gained the approval
of the city’s Board of Estimate and Apportionment. On October 14, 2016, the St. Louis Board of
Aldermen approved the name change, and on October 25, St. Louis mayor Francis Slay signed
the bill approving the name change. After going through the formal process to
submit the name change to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airport debuted new branding
and a completely redesigned website on February 14, 2017, signaling the start of a new era
in the airport’s history.===2017–Present: Continued growth===In early 2017, Lambert began to renovate four
unused gates in Concourse D and renamed them as E gates. This work was undertaken to accommodate the
continued growth of Southwest Airlines at Lambert’s Terminal 2 and was finished in time
for the summer flying season.In May 2017, Moody’s again raised its rating of Lambert’s
bonds and debt to A3 with a positive outlook from A3 with a stable outlook, primarily due
to continued growth in enplanements, declining debt, and no major capital expenditures. By the same token, S&P issued an A- long-term
rating with a positive outlook, up from A- with a stable outlook, citing “favorably declining
debt levels and strong liquidity [as well as] stable passenger enplanement levels and
a good competitive position that supports a good base of air travel demand”. Later in the year, Fitch also raised their
bond outlook to A- with a stable outlook from BBB+ with a positive outlook, citing many
of the same reasons as the other two agencies.An August 21, 2017 FAA Press Release announced
that Lambert was one of 67 airports selected to receive infrastructure grants from the
U.S. DOT. The airport was granted $7.1 million for “Realignment
and Reconstruction of Taxiway Kilo; Reconstruction of Taxiway Sierra from Taxiway Echo to Runway
12R-30L; Widening of Taxiway Kilo Fillet from Runway 12R-30L to Taxiway Delta; and Rehabilitation
and Reconstruction of Runway 12L-30R Outer Panels and Replacement of Electrical Circuits”.On
August 23, 2017, WOW air announced that in 2018 they would commence four weekly A321
flights between St. Louis and Reykjavík, Iceland as part of a planned multi-city U.S.
expansion. As part of the service agreement, the Airport
and St. Louis County Port Authority will combine for approximately $800,000 in incentives to
market the route and will waive landing fees for WOW air for 18 months, while WOW air guaranteed
the route will remain for at least two years. Due to strong sales, WOW added a fifth weekly
flight in January 2018. The first flight from Reykjavík landed on
May 17, 2018, becoming the first regularly scheduled commercial flight between St. Louis
and any part of Europe since American Airlines discontinued European service in 2003. However, just five months later on October
15, WOW air announced that it would be ending the route, with the last flight planned on
January 7, 2019. The announcement blindsided airport officials,
who had been told that St. Louis was one of the airline’s top-performing Midwestern markets
not long before the cancellation and were under the impression that the airline was
satisfied with the route’s performance. As it turned out, St. Louis was just the first
of several announced cancellations of new U.S. destinations by WOW, possibly due to
ongoing financial difficulties at the burgeoning airline. Due to the cancellation, WOW will not meet
the criteria to receive any of the offered marketing incentives, though it is unclear
whether or not the airline will have to repay the waived landing fees.On October 30, 2017,
American Airlines announced that it would close its St. Louis pilot base in September
2018, affecting 153 pilots and several administrative staff. American cited the retirement of older aircraft
and network planning as the primary reasons for the shutdown. The move is not expected to affect services
to the airport, but signals the end of one of the final remnants of TWA’s legacy at Lambert.In
March 2018, the airport announced that STL Fuel Company LLC, the consortium that manages
fuel services at the airport, had been cleared to construct a new $50 million fuel storage
facility on the northeastern part of the airport property. The new facility will have three 722,000 gallon
storage tanks initially, though there will be room for expansion. The current facility, located across from
Terminal 1, was one of the first below-ground integrated aircraft fueling hydrant systems
in the country when it began operations in 1957; its age and new environmental regulations
are the catalyst for the move. Once the new facility is complete, the current
facility will be demolished and the environmental conditions around it remediated at the consortium’s
expense. Preliminary work is already underway, including
upgrades to the existing terminal fuel lines.On June 25, 2018, the airport tweeted that there
would be a press conference the following day to announce the commencement of service
by a new airline. This was revealed in the scheduled press conference
to be Sun Country Airlines with seasonal flights to Fort Myers and Tampa beginning later in
2018.On July 16, 2018, the U.S. DOT announced an additional grant of $10.2 million for Lambert
as part of the “Airport Improvement Program” in order to facilitate repairs to runway 12L/30R
and “associated airfield guidance signs and runway lighting”.A TSA press release on July
30, 2018 indicated that Lambert would be one of the first 15 airports in the country to
receive one of its new ‘computed tomography scanners’ for testing purposes. This technology creates fully three-dimensional
scans of items and enhances explosive-detecting methodology, and has to potential to significantly
speed up the security screening process. The equipment is expected to be installed
by the end of 2018.In August 2018, Moody’s raised its rating of Lambert’s bonds yet again,
this time from A3 with a positive outlook to A2 with a stable outlook. The company stated that the airport’s debt
service “will improve incrementally over the near term with STL’s declining cost structure
and positive enplanement trend driving increasingly competitive cost per enplanement (CPE)” and
also cited “rapid growth in connecting enplanements, new routes and increased flight frequencies
and growth in passenger seats to the market” as further factors leading to the upgrade. Following Moody’s announcement, S&P affirmed
the airport’s bond rating as A- with a stable outlook. In October 2018, Fitch also upgraded its rating
of the airport’s bonds, this time to A- with a positive outlook, up from stable. Fitch stated that the upgrade “reflects an
expanding enplanement base, stable cash flow, and declining leverage at STL.”On August 31,
2018, the City of St. Louis issued an RFQ for “Terminal 2 Baggage Carousel Expansion”. With a total estimated cost of $23.3 million,
of which $16.2 million would be paid for by Southwest, the project aims to add a 10,500
square-foot addition to the Terminal 2 structure, add a third baggage carousel, replace the
existing baggage carousels, and provide for the replacement or addition of all needed
building utilities, signage, and systems, including luggage belts and a new bag transfer
facility. Also being considered is a move of the current
curbside baggage check-in location from the north end to the south end of the departure
drop-off area. The project is awaiting approval from the
city’s Board of Aldermen and Board of Estimate and Apportionment.An ongoing dispute is a
potential privatization of the airport. This initiative was started in 2017 by St.
Louis mayor Francis Slay shortly before leaving office. Slay traveled to Washington, D.C. in March
of that year to submit a preliminary application with the FAA to explore privatization, with
the hope that Lambert would be selected for one of five open slots in the FAA’s “Airport
Privatization Pilot Program”. The primary reason cited for the effort is
for extra capital to be funneled into the city’s coffers as part of a lease with a private
airport operator, as the current arrangement provides approximately $6 million in revenue
annually to the city and limits what that money may be spent on. On April 24, 2017, the FAA accepted the preliminary
application, allowing the city to fully explore the possibility of privatizing the airport.As
of September 2018, Southwest Airlines is the dominant carrier at Lambert, accounting for
over 61% of passengers over the previous 12-month time period. American Airlines is a solid second, at just
over 10.5%, while Delta Air Lines is third at slightly under 8%.==Facilities=====
Control Tower===The airport’s current ~156-foot (~47.6-meter)
control tower opened in 1997 at a cost of approximately $15,000,000.===Runways===
The airport has four runways, three of which are parallel with one crosswind. The crosswind runway, 6/24, is the shortest
of the four at 7,602 feet (2,317 m). The newest runway is 11/29, completed in 2006
as part of a large expansion program.===Terminals===The airport has two terminals with a total
of 5 concourses. International flights and passengers use Terminal
2, whose lower level holds the customs facilities. Passengers can move between the terminals
on complimentary buses that run continuously or via MetroLink for a fee. It was possible to walk between the terminals
via Concourse D until the connection was blocked in 2008 with the closure of Concourse D; this
connection may reopen as more shuttered D gates are reactivated.====Terminal 1====The iconic Terminal 1 opened in 1956 along
with several single story concourses (including what would later become the current Concourses
A and C). The terminal itself would be expanded in the
1960s, while Concourses A and C were rebuilt as two story buildings with jetbridges in
the early 1970s. Expansion by both Ozark Airlines and TWA forced
the construction of Concourse D in the early 1980s. Up until its demise and subsequent takeover
by American Airlines, TWA operated an enormous domestic hub out of Terminal 1 Concourses
B, C, and D. In 2008, Lambert began large-scale renovations of Terminal 1 and its concourses,
which came to include extensive repairs following a tornado that struck the airport in 2011. Work was finished by early 2016. The renovated American Airlines Admirals Club
at the B/C/D connector is large for its type, with seats for 244, and contains many of the
same amenities found in lounges at more prominent airports. Lambert’s USO facility, on the lower level
of the terminal, is one of the largest in the country. It is open 24 hours a day and serves more
than 120,000 military men and women each year. International departures on scheduled and
charter flights depart from both Concourse A and Concourse C in Terminal 1. All arriving international flights are processed
in Terminal 2 (Concourse E). Concourse A: Gates A2–A4, A5*, A6, A7*,
A8–A10, A12, A14–A19, A21 Air Canada Express, Delta, United, Xtra Airways
(Charter) * Doors for these gates exist, but the waiting
areas have been indefinitely configured as vendor space. A12 is currently vacant and lacks a jetway. Concourse B: Gates B2, B3*, B4, B6, B7, B8,
B10, B12, B14, B16 Vacant – Currently only used as a rental
event space. * May no longer be accessible due to its location
adjacent to the current control tower. Concourse C: Gates C1, C2*, C3, C5–C10,
C12, C15–C19, C21, C23, C24, C27, C28 (Gates C29–C36 and C38 are currently closed)
Air Choice One, Alaska, American, Cape Air, Frontier, Sun Country
* Currently lacks a jetway and is not used for services. Note: Gates C29 and C30 are in the process
of being reopened – they are currently scheduled to reopen by March 2019. Note: The far end of Concourse C contains
a first-level U.S. Customs facility that has remained unused since the early 2000s. Concourse D: Gates D2, D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, D14, D16,
D18, D20, D22, D24, D26 Vacant
In 2016, Concourse D Gates D32, D34, D36, D38, and D40 were renamed and moved into Terminal
2 as Concourse E gates to accommodate the continued growth of Southwest at Lambert. Note: Gates D2–D10 are maintained as “City
Owned” gates. Gates D12–D34 were closed as a cost-saving
measure in December 2008. These gates may become active in the future
with the growth of Concourse E.====Terminal 2====Terminal 2 opened in 1998 and was built in
order to accommodate the growing presence of Southwest in the St. Louis market. Upon opening, it encompassed a single concourse,
E, and 15 gates. As Southwest has continued to expand in St.
Louis, former unused gates in the D concourse have been renovated and renamed as E gates. As of October 2018, there are 18 active gates:
E29 is a city-owned common-use international arrival gate, while the other 17 are leased
to Southwest. In January 2018, a new common-use lounge,
operated by Wingtips, opened near gate E31. This lounge is the first in Terminal 2 and
the only common-use club in the airport. Concourse E: Gates E2*, E4, E6, E8, E10, E12,
E14, E16, E18, E20, E22, E24, E29, E31, E33, E34, E36, E38, E40
Southwest, WOW, all other international arrivals (excluding pre-cleared Air Canada Express
flights) Note: Concourse E Gates E29, E31, E33 are
secured International Airline Arrival Gates and connect to the airport’s only currently-operating
U.S. Customs facility. * Gate E2 is no longer used as of April 2004
and does not have a jetbridge.===Aircraft production===
Lambert’s runways have long been used for test flights and deliveries of military aircraft,
first by McDonnell Douglas, which built its world headquarters and principal assembly
plant next to the airport, and now by Boeing, which bought McDonnell and currently uses
its St. Louis facilities as the primary manufacturing facility for its Defense, Space & Security
division. Until 2016, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
was also headquartered in St. Louis; that year, it was moved to the Washington, D.C.
area, affecting approximately 12 executive positions and their support staff. The company cited easier access to potential
customers as the reason for the move. The plant currently builds the F-15 Strike
Eagle, F/A-18 Super Hornet, and EA-18 Growler. It was formerly home to Boeing Phantom Works
until Boeing moved the division’s headquarters to Seattle in September 1999, though it does
still maintain a significant presence at the airport.In more recent developments, the first
two prototypes of the Boeing T-X trainer, Boeing and Saab Group’s joint entry for the
T-X program to replace the aging Northrop T-38 Talon, were constructed at Boeing’s Lambert
facilities. The first prototype underwent its first test
flight in December 2016. On May 15, 2017, Boeing announced that St.
Louis would be the assembly location for the T-X should they win the USAF contract. Moreover, it was reported in early 2018 that
there was a likelihood that should Boeing’s design for the MQ-25 carrier-based refueling
drone be selected for purchase by the United States Navy, it would be built at Boeing’s
St. Louis facilities. This was confirmed on August 30, 2018, when
Boeing’s design was selected by the Department of Defense and Boeing was awarded a contract
for four examples to be produced by 2024, with 45.5% of the work to be done at Boeing’s
St. Louis facilities. Up to 72 examples may be purchased by the
Navy, totaling $7 billion in sales. The selection was viewed as a much-needed
win by both the region and the company. On September 27, 2018, Boeing/Saab’s joint
entry for the T-X Program was announced as the contract winner of the T-X program, beating
out competing entries from Lockheed/KAI and Leonardo and capping off a month of success
for Boeing as it captured three major defense contracts. The initial contract is for 351 aircraft,
46 simulators, and associated ground equipment worth $9.2 billion, though the contract allows
the Air Force to purchase up to 475 aircraft and 120 simulators. Overall, the Air Force predicts it may spend
upwards of $16 billion on new trainer aircraft. It is also possible that more aircraft and
support services will be purchased by foreign customers, meaning the program as a whole
will likely be rather lucrative. The aircraft will be built at Boeing’s St.
Louis facility, ensuring Boeing’s tactical aircraft business remains strong as F-15 and
F/A-18 production begins to wind down, and was viewed as a “critical” win by both Boeing
and regional leaders. In October 2018, it was announced that neither
of Boeing’s two competitors would protest the decision, fully clearing the way for the
program to commence. In addition, Saab will also build a U.S. manufacturing
facility to complete its allocated work on each aircraft.===Other facilities===
Ozark Air Lines had its corporate headquarters on airport property before it was purchased
by TWA. The building is now headquarters for Trans
States Holdings.Airport Terminal Services Inc. maintains facilities at Lambert and is
headquartered in St. Louis.==Modernization=====
21st-century renovation===Announced in February 2007, “The Airport Experience
Project” was designed to update and modernize many facets of Terminal 1. It was set back somewhat by the 2011 tornado
damage, but was completed by January 2016 at a total cost of nearly $150 million. The domed ceiling was completely restored
with a new acoustic coating and a programmable LED lighting system. A faster, quieter baggage carousel system
was installed. The Main and East terminals were renamed Terminal
1 and Terminal 2 and signs throughout the airport were redone to reflect the change
and improve wayfinding. Eight restaurants and food vendors were added
to the terminal. In December 2011, the renovation of the A
concourse was completed with new bathrooms, flooring, lighting, and gate signs. Security checkpoints were reconstructed to
be more integrated and to include new screening technology. Terrazzo floors were installed throughout
the terminal. Art glass screens, designed by St. Louis-area
artists, were installed throughout the terminal. A dedicated performance area, dubbed “St.
Louis Stage”, was added. Restrooms throughout the terminal were renovated;
new restrooms were added to the baggage area. Entrances to the lower level of Terminal 1
were redesigned.==Art and historical pieces=====Black Americans in Flight mural===
Black Americans in Flight is a mural that depicts African American aviators and their
contributions to aviation since 1917. It is located in Terminal 1 / Main Terminal
on the lower level near the entrance to gates C and D and baggage claim. The mural consists of five panels and measures
8 feet tall and 51 feet long. The first panel includes Albert Edward Forsythe
and C. Alfred Anderson, the first black pilots to complete a cross-country flight, the Tuskegee
Institute and the Tuskegee Airmen, Eugene Bullard, Bessie Coleman and Willa Brown (first
African American woman commercial pilot in United States). The second panel shows Benjamin O. Davis Jr.,
Clarence “Lucky” Lester and Joseph Ellesberry. The third panel shows Gen. Daniel “Chappie”
James, Capt. Ronald Radliff and Capt. Marcella Hayes. The fourth and fifth panels show Ronald McNair,
who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, Guion Bluford, who in 1983 became
the first African American in space, and Mae Jemison, the first African America woman in
space. Spencer Taylor and Solomon Thurman created
the mural in 1990. The mural had a re-dedication ceremony in
2012.===Aircraft on display===
One aircraft from the Missouri History Museum currently hangs from Lambert’s ceilings. This aircraft, a red Monocoupe 110 Special
manufactured in St. Louis in 1931, hangs in the ticketing hall of Terminal 2. The airport has also played host to two other
aircraft. A Monocoupe D-127 hung near the eastern security
checkpoint in Terminal 1. Charles Lindbergh bought it in 1934 from the
Lambert Aircraft Corporation and flew it as his personal plane. It was removed in 2018 and returned to the
Missouri Historical Society, from which the plane had been on loan since 1979, for preservation
purposes. Until 1998, a Ryan B-1 Brougham, a replica
of the Spirit of St. Louis, hung next to the D-127.==
Cargo operations=====
China cargo hub and Aerotropolis endeavour===In 2008, China Cargo Airlines (a subsidiary
of China Eastern Airlines) was reported to be considering a cargo hub at Lambert as part
of its international cargo and passenger service expansion. Lambert was considered an attractive option
as runway 11/29 would accommodate the large cargo aircraft, and the decline in passenger
service during the first decade of the 2000s meant less congestion than busier airports
such as Chicago O’Hare International Airport.Negotiations led to the 2009 creation of the public-private
Midwest-China Hub Commission to develop an implementation plan. Planners for the cargo hub envisioned St.
Louis as an Aerotropolis, an urban form whose layout, infrastructure, and economy is centered
on an airport, offering its businesses speedy connectivity to suppliers, customers, and
enterprise partners worldwide. Negotiations between the Chinese ambassador
Zhou Wenzhong, China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Zhaoxing, Missouri Senators Kit
Bond and Claire McCaskill and business leaders from the St. Louis region continued over the
next two years. The United States Department of Commerce allowed
expansion of the foreign trade zone near Lambert airport on February 13, 2009.In 2011, the
“Aerotropolis Tax Credit” was introduced into the Missouri Senate. The bill provided $360 million of tax incentives
to freight forwarders and for the development of warehouses, cold storage facilities and
transportation connections in so-called “Gateway Zones,” foreign trade zones located within
50 miles of St. Louis. The bill was debated in a special session
during September 2011 but ultimately failed to gain enough support.In September 2011,
the first China Cargo Airlines flight arrived from Shanghai–Pudong. The hub’s future was questioned when the airline
canceled every subsequent weekly flight in 2011.In 2013, the airline’s lease for cargo
space in the airport expired and was not renewed, seemingly ending the partnership. In total, only two flights took place in 2011,
and all flights thereafter were suspended due to the failed Aerotropolis legislation
and weak air freight demand around the world during that period.===U.S. – Mexico Dual-Customs Cargo Facility
===In 2013, a Texas company, Brownsville International
Air Cargo Inc., expressed interest in building a dual-customs cargo facility on the site
of the old McDonnell-Douglas complex on the north end of Lambert, citing excess airport
capacity and a central U.S. location as conducive to a cargo operation. The idea was positively received by St. Louis
and airport officials and won local approval, culminating in a three-year agreement to prepare
studies and applications for the facility in late 2014. This dual-customs facility would permit pre-clearance
of cargo bound for Mexico as well as U.S. Customs inspection of cargo imported from
Mexico.The airport stated it was heavily focused on increasing cargo traffic as part of its
2015 Five Year Strategic Plan. To this end, the airport supported an extendable
20-year lease on 49 acres of airport land in order for it to be redeveloped into a large
international air-cargo facility in three phases over 18 months. This lease was signed with Bi-National Gateway
Terminal LLC and owner Ricardo Nicolopulos, who also owns Brownsville International Air
Cargo Inc., and would incorporate the proposed dual-customs facility into the final design
of the air-cargo facility, pending its approval by the Mexican government. Nicolopulos stated that Bi-National would
invest $77 million into the first phase of the project, which would cover 32 acres and
include a new international air-cargo terminal, and would not require extra funding from the
airport. He reiterated his interest in and support
of developing cargo operations in St. Louis, stating his belief that St. Louis could become
a viable cargo competitor to Miami. The airport stands to receive at least $13.5
million in revenue from the facility over the initial 20-year lease.In January, 2017,
the Bi-National cargo facility was included on a list of important national infrastructure
projects compiled by President Donald Trump’s administration. The report stated overall construction costs
of $1.8 billion and claimed that the facility could create 1,800 ‘direct’ jobs.As of August,
2017, no construction on the cargo facility has occurred; Bi-National has, however, filed
a Brownfield Grant application with the state of Missouri in order to receive financial
assistance for environmental cleanup of the site, and has also filed a Tenant Construction
Application with the airport. Furthermore, Lambert airport, along with St.
Louis County, have begun to undertake infrastructure improvements in order to better accommodate
future shipping needs in and around the airport. The first of these was a rebuilding of Taxiway
V and the taxiway’s entrance to the “Northern Tract” of Lambert, providing common-use access
to the Trans States Airlines ramp, the Airport Terminal Services ramp, and the Bi-National
Air Cargo ramp. The rebuilt taxiway can accommodate the largest
cargo planes, up to and including the 747-8F. The taxiway reconstruction cost approximately
$6.1 million, funded via a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation, and
was finished in 2017. Other projects include the reconstruction
of several roads leading to the airport to better facilitate heavy truck traffic and
an extension of the Class 1 rail line adjacent to the airport to provide immediate train
access from the Northern Tract cargo facilities. The overall projected cost for these near-term
improvements is $20.7 million. Additionally, the airport is in the final
stage of approval to become a USDA port of embarkation, allowing live animal charters
to depart from St. Louis.In October, 2017 the Ambassador of Mexico visited to discuss
trade between St. Louis and Mexico. Also beginning in October was the aforementioned
environmental cleanup of the cargo facility site.==Airlines and destinations=====
Passenger and Operational Statistics======
Airline market share======Top destinations======Annual traffic======
Cargo Statistics======
Based Aircraft===There are 18 aircraft based at STL as of June
30, 2017.==Ground transportation=====
Mass transit/light rail/subway===The airport is connected to MetroLink’s Red
Line via a station at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. MetroLink lines provide direct or indirect
service to downtown St. Louis, the Clayton area and Illinois suburbs in St. Clair County.===MetroBus===
Two MetroBus lines serve the Lambert Bus Port, which is located next to the intermediate
parking lot and is accessible via a tunnel from Terminal 1.===Road===
The airport is served by I-70; eastbound leads to downtown St. Louis and Illinois with a
north/south connection at I-170 immediately east of the airport, while westbound leads
to several exurbs of St. Louis in St. Charles County with a north/south connection at I-270
immediately west of the airport.==Accidents and incidents=====
Accidents===August 5, 1936: Chicago and Southern Flight
4, a Lockheed 10 Electra headed for Chicago, crashed after takeoff killing all 8 passengers
and crew. The pilot became disoriented in fog. August 1, 1943: During a demonstration flight
of an “all St. Louis-built glider”, a WACO CG-4A-RO, 42-78839, built by sub-contractor
Robertson Aircraft Company, lost its starboard wing due to a defective wing strut support
and plummeted vertically to the ground at Lambert Field, killing all on board, including
St. Louis Mayor William D. Becker, Maj. William B. Robertson and Harold Krueger, both of Robertson
Aircraft, Thomas Dysart, president of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, Max Doyne,
director of public utilities, Charles Cunningham, department comptroller, Henry Mueller, St.
Louis Court presiding judge, Lt. Col. Paul Hazleton, pilot Capt. Milton C. Klugh, and
co-pilot/mechanic PFC Jack W. Davis, of the USAAF 71st Troop Carrier Squadron. The failed component had been manufactured
by Robertson subcontractor Gardner Metal Products Company, of St. Louis, who, coincidentally,
had been a casket maker. February 28, 1966: Astronauts Elliot See and
Charles Bassett – the original crew of the Gemini 9 mission – were killed in the crash
of their T-38 trainer while attempting to land at Lambert Field in bad weather. The plane crashed into the same McDonnell
Aircraft building (adjacent to the airport) where their spacecraft was being assembled. March 27, 1968: At about 6 p.m., an Ozark
DC-9, operating as Flight 965, and an Interstate Airmotive Cessna 150F collided in flight approximately
1.5 miles north of the airport. Both aircraft were in the landing pattern
for Runway 17 when the accident occurred. The Cessna was demolished by the collision
and ground impact, and both occupants were fatally injured. The DC-9 sustained light damage and was able
to effect a safe landing. None of its 44 passengers or five crewmembers
were injured. The probable cause was determined to be a
combination of inadequate VFR procedures in place at the airport, the failure of the DC-9
crew to notice the other plane in time, the controller’s failure to ensure that the Cessna
had received and understood important landing information, and the Cessna crew’s deviation
from their traffic pattern instructions and/or their continuation to a critical point in
the traffic pattern without informing the controller of the progress of the flight. July 23, 1973: While on the approach to land
at St. Louis International Airport, Ozark Air Lines Flight 809 crashed near the University
of Missouri – St. Louis, killing 38 of the 44 persons aboard. Wind shear was cited as the cause. A tornado had been reported at Ladue, Missouri
about the time of the accident but the National Weather Service did not confirm that there
was a tornado. January 9, 1984: Douglas C-47B C-GSCA of Skycraft
Air Transport crashed on take-off, killing one of its two crew members. The aircraft was on an international cargo
flight to Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada. Both engines lost power shortly after take-off. The aircraft had been fueled with JET-A instead
of 100LL. November 22, 1994: TWA Flight 427 collided
with a Cessna 441, N441KM, at the intersection of runway 30R and taxiway Romeo. The MD-82 was taking off for Denver and had
accelerated through 80 knots when the collision occurred. The MD-82 sustained substantial damage during
the collision. The Cessna 441, operated by Superior Aviation,
was destroyed. The pilot and the passenger were killed. PROBABLE CAUSE: “The Cessna 441 pilot’s mistaken
belief that his assigned departure runway was runway 30R, which resulted in his undetected
entrance onto runway 30R, which was being used by the MD-82 for its departure. Contributing to the accident was the lack
of Automatic Terminal Information Service and other air traffic control (ATC) information
regarding the occasional use of runway 31 for departure. The installation and utilization of Airport
Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE-3) and particularly ASDE-3 enhanced with the Airport Movement
Area Safety System (AMASS), could have prevented this accident.”===Incidents===
September 6, 1944: The starboard engine of the sole completed McDonnell XP-67 fighter
prototype, 42-11677, caught fire during a test flight. Test pilot E.E. Elliot executed an emergency
landing at Lambert Field and escaped, but the fire rapidly spread, destroying the aircraft. This event was a crippling setback for the
XP-67; the program had already been plagued by delays and technical problems, and the
other prototype was only 15% complete, so flight testing could not promptly resume. Soon after the incident, USAAF leaders declared
the XP-67 unnecessary, canceling the program. April 2, 1989: Joseph Rutherford Jr., a passenger
bound for Sioux City, died after suffering fatal head and neck injuries when he was crushed
by an airport trash compactor in Concourse D. Rutherford, reported to be highly intoxicated
after drinking during his connecting flight from Memphis, stole a parked electric cart
upon entering the concourse and began to drive it. Stopping the cart after a short distance,
Rutherford attempted to hide from pursuers inside a maintenance room containing a trash
compactor. Airport police eventually found that he had
slid down an 18-inch aluminum chute into the trash compactor, which went into operation
after his body triggered an electric eye while passing through the chute.==In popular culture=====
Television===In the “Airport” episode of the television
show Newsradio, bad weather keeps Bill and Dave at Lambert for the entire show. In “The Airport” episode of the television
show Seinfeld, Jerry and Elaine leave from Lambert. In the “Meg and Quagmire” episode of the television
show Family Guy, Glenn Quagmire tells a story about landing at Lambert.===Film===
In the 1986 film Manhunter, FBI agents fly into Lambert during their pursuit of the killer. In the 1987 film Planes, Trains & Automobiles,
Neal Page (Steve Martin) attempts to rent a car at Lambert, with disastrous consequences. Part of the 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs
was shot at Lambert. In the 2003 film Anger Management, Dave Buznik
(Adam Sandler) takes a flight to Lambert. Part of the 2006 film The Lucky Ones, set
in Austin, Texas, was shot at Lambert. One scene from the 2009 film The Informant!,
directed by Steven Soderbergh, was filmed at Lambert. The 2009 film Up in the Air was filmed in
the St. Louis area, including in Lambert’s Concourse D, between March 3 and the end of
April 2009. In the film, George Clooney alludes to Lambert
Field’s rich history with the Wright Brothers and Charles Lindbergh. The 2017 film “The Layover” was partially
filmed and set at Lambert Airport.==Public Safety==
St. Louis Airport Police Transportation Security Administration
Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) is provided by the St. Louis Fire Department,
who operate out of two fire stations on the premises. U.S. Customs and Border Protection – The largest
federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security.==See also==Essential Air Service – STL acts as a hub
for two EAS carriers. List of airports in Missouri
Missouri World War II Army Airfields Raymond A. Johnson – One of the first flight
instructors for the United States Air Force. Employed as a flight trainer for a time at
Lambert Airfield

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