MidAmerica St. Louis Airport
|MidAmerica St. Louis Airport
Scott Air Force Base
|USGS 1998 orthophoto|
|IATA: BLV – ICAO: KBLV – FAA LID: BLV|
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Owner||St. Clair County & USAF|
|Elevation AMSL||459 ft / 140 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (IATA: BLV, ICAO: KBLV, FAA LID: BLV) is a public use airport co-located on the grounds of Scott Air Force Base. It is located 14 nautical miles (16 mi, 26 km) east of the central business district of Belleville, in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States.
MidAmerica has operated as a Joint Use Airport since beginning operations in November 1997 and has not been served by any commercial airlines since Allegiant Air pulled out of the airport on January 3, 2009.
However, Allegiant Air advertisements dated August 21, 2012, state that the company will resume operations with direct flights between MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and Orlando Sanford International Airport starting November 7, 2012.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 27,002 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 1,964 enplanements in 2009, and 1,183 in 2010. It was included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport based on enplanements in 2008 (more than 10,000 per year).
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport was created to alleviate some crowding of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, but has never had service from any major airline and has been criticized as a pork barrel project. Featured several times as a "Fleecing of America" segment on the NBC Nightly News, it was called a "Gateway to Nowhere" by Tom Brokaw, costing taxpayers $313 million. Supporters credit MidAmerica's additional runway with saving Scott AFB from closure during BRAC 2005. They also describe MidAmerica as a "Gateway to the World", citing a new cargo terminal and customs facility designed to attract international cargo. Congestion at Lambert-St. Louis has not been a problem since American Airlines reduced hub operations by fifty percent in 2003 and a new billion-dollar runway opened in 2006.
Four passenger airlines have started operations at MidAmerica only to go out of business or close operations.
- On August 16, 2000, Pan American Airways debuted at MidAmerica airport. Pan American Airways (Pan Am) offered non-stop service between Orlando Sanford and St. Louis. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, airline travel dropped significantly across the United States. This drop-off in air travel ultimately impacted Pan American Airways service at the fledgling airport. Pan American Airways ceased operations at the airport December 3, 2001.
- Great Plains Airlines filed for bankruptcy in January 2004 and ultimately ceased all operations.
- TransMeridian Airlines began service at Mid-America on November 21, 2004. The Atlanta-based airline filed for bankruptcy on September 29, 2005, then ceased service to all destinations - including Mid-America.
- Allegiant Air started service from the St. Clair County-owned airport on April 29, 2005. Allegiant Air offered flights to both McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Orlando Sanford International Airport until January 3, 2009. However, as stated previously, Allegiant Air advertisements dated August 21, 2012, state that the company will resume operations with direct flights between MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and Orlando/Sanford starting November 7, 2012.
Allegiant has resumed twice weekly flights between BLV and Orlando/Sanford since November 2012.
The passenger terminal was planned as an expandable facility that will provide passenger accommodations for the initial opening of the MidAmerica Airport. The passenger terminal is located in a 250-foot-wide by 7,000-foot long terminal building expansion envelope, bounded by a runway and parking lot. In the initial build-out, the terminal provides two upper level departure gates (both have jet bridges) with additional ground-level gates to serve smaller commuter aircraft.
Airline and destination
The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:
Between late 2009 and August 2010, one air cargo company, LAN Cargo, used the airport to import flowers from Bogota, Colombia, totaling one flight each week until the county abruptly ended the flights. Although when it was originally constructed, FedEx seriously considered using it as a central hub for the midwest, due to delays in its construction and governmental red tape, they ultimately decided on Memphis instead.
Both Boeing Aerospace and Northbay Produce currently have facilities on site. With Northbay produce mainly shipping Blueberries from Michigan and Chile into the airport and using a completely refrigerated warehouse for packaging and distribution. Boeing uses the facility at MidAmerica for sub assemblies to multiple military aircraft.
Boeing and Northbay have recently constructed additions to their facilities at MidAmerica Airport.
Northbay Produce Blueberries can be found in grocery stores mainly in the Midwest.
- Dual Category II Instrument Landing Systems
- Simultaneous instrument approaches
- Runway 14L/32R, 10,000 feet
- Runway 14R/32L, 8,000 feet
- Unconstrained Air Traffic Control and air space environment
- Immediate Interstate access via I-64, I-44, I-55 and I-70
- Air cargo facility development site ranging from 10 to 200+ acres
- An initial air cargo ramp of 258,000 square feet or 5.9 acres
- An air cargo terminal site adjacent to the ramp
- Air rescue and fire Index C facility, capable of adjustment, as operational requirements dictate
- New state-of-the-art control tower, 24-hours daily, seven days a week
- New fuel farm
- Aircraft handling services
- Foreign Trade Zone
- Enterprise Zone
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport covers 7,003 acres (2,834.0 ha) and has two runways:
- Runway 14L/32R: 10,000 by 150 feet (3,048 x 46 m), Surface: Concrete, ILS equipped.
- Runway 14R/32L: 8,011 by 150 feet (2,442 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete, ILS equipped.
MidAmerica's construction has included creation of the 10,000-foot (3,000 m) 14L/32R (east) runway, adding 1,000 feet (300 m) to the existing west runway, adding passenger and cargo terminals on the east side of the facility and a 7,000-foot (2,100 m) taxiway connecting the two runways. A new air traffic control tower staffed by Air Force personnel was also constructed midway between the two runways.
Maintenance and operations
The civil operations are administered by St. Clair County, Illinois, which also pays the maintenance costs for the east runway. Over half of all air operations at the facility utilize the eastern runway.
In calendar year 2008, the dual-use facility was ranked 314 in the United States with 27,002 passenger enplanements. This placed it ninth in the state of Illinois. By comparison, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was ranked 31 with over 6.74 million enplanements.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010, the airport had 21,508 aircraft operations, an average of 58 per day: 66% military, 34% general aviation, and <1% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 35 military aircraft based at this airport.
- FAA Airport Master Record for BLV ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch. MidAmerica Wings it Without Allegiant Air. January 7, 2009. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
- Imbs, Christine (March 2006). "Gateway to the World". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- Tom Brokaw. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport was featured several times on a "Fleecing of America" segment on the NBC evening news.January 5, 1998. May 27, 1999. August 16, 2000.
- Marson, Barrett (1998-01-05). "NBC 'Fleecing' Telecast Snipes At MidAmerica Airport". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved 28 December 2009.[dead link]
- "TransMeridian Airlines to Finish Year at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport". Belleville News Democrat, Distributed by the Associated Press. April 6, 2005.
- "Pan Am Will Stop Flying To MidAmerica". St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO). November 2, 2001.
- "Final airline departing MidAmerica airport". UPI.com. November 17, 2008.
- Louis, St. (October 3, 2011). "MidAmerica Airport's flower flights cost taxpayers millions".
- NBC Nightly News, January 12, 2009
- Grandone, Jim (February 2000). "Emerging Roles of Scott Air Force Base & MidAmerica". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Commercial Service Airports CY2008 Enplanements". Federal Aviation Administration. December 17, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
- MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, official site
- Aerial image as of April 1998 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for BLV, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: