MASCOUTAH – MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is pleased to announce that a key phase of its planned terminal expansion will be moving forward this fall thanks to nearly $6.5 million in grant funding recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funds, awarded through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Improvement Program, will be used for a variety of critical infrastructure and safety improvement projects to enhance overall operations at the airport, which was seeing significant passenger growth year-over-year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to operate as a joint-use airport with Scott Air Force Base.
“Passengers have grown from 63,000 total passengers in 2015 to over 300,000 total passengers in 2019, and given our focus on serving the leisure travel market, we fully expect to get back on our growth trajectory once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed and passengers return to the skies,” said Bryan Johnson, Airport Director for MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. “This grant is great news for MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and for Southern Illinois as the FAA, state and local leaders recognize the importance of modifying and improving our passenger terminal building to support the regular increase we’ve been seeing in passenger growth.”
With the allotted funds, MidAmerica Airport will expand the existing 53,500-square-foot terminal by an additional 41,000-plus square feet under Phase Two of their four-phase Passenger Terminal Modification project. This phase of the project will create a standard TSA screening area, two additional second-level boarding bridges, a service animal relief area, new family restrooms and a nursing room. The grant funding will also provide ADA enhancements for individuals with disabilities to Gate 2 and the security checkpoint, as well as expand the current departure lounge and build added space for concessions.
“DUE TO THE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES PUT IN PLACE BY MIDAMERICA AIRPORT AND OUR AIRLINE PARTNER IN RECENT MONTHS TO HELP COMBAT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, PASSENGER TRAVEL IS NOW MUCH SAFER,” SAID ST. CLAIR COUNTY CHAIRMAN MARK KERN. “THANKS TO THE ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE THIS GRANT FUNDING PROVIDES TO HELP MODERNIZE OUR AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE, WE CAN CONTINUE TO ENSURE A HIGHER STANDARD OF TRAVEL AND POSITIVE EXPERIENCE FOR ALL PASSENGERS.”
Construction for Phase Two will get underway within the next 60 days, with the expected completion date to be just under 12 months. Phase Two is the largest phase of the project and will include the building shell (foundations, walls, roof) and the initial rough in of interior systems (electrical, fire protection, plumbing, etc.). Funding for the final two phases is being programmed by the FAA and Illinois Development Authority and each should take about 12 months, with final completion of the entire project expected in late 2023.
“MidAmerica is an important hub of transportation for residents and military personnel in and around the Metro East,” said U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) when announcing the grant funding earlier this month. “This grant will allow MidAmerica to make essential updates to the airport terminal building so that they can continue to serve the needs of Southern Illinoisans for years to come.”