St. Louis Lambert International Airport

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St. Louis Lambert International Airport
St. Louis Lambert International Airport logo.png
St. Louis Lambert T1 from West.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of St. Louis
OperatorSt. Louis City Airport Commission
ServesSt. Louis, Missouri and Greater St. Louis
LocationUnincorporated St. Louis County 10 miles (16 km) NW of St. Louis
Hub for
Elevation AMSL605 ft / 184.4 m
Coordinates38°44′50″N 090°21′41″W / 38.74722°N 90.36139°W / 38.74722; -90.36139Coordinates: 38°44′50″N 090°21′41″W / 38.74722°N 90.36139°W / 38.74722; -90.36139
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12R/30L 11,019 3,359 Concrete
12L/30R 9,003 2,744 Concrete
11/29 9,001 2,743 Concrete
6/24 7,607 2,319 Concrete
Statistics (2020)
Total passengers6,302,402
Aircraft operations125,038
Source: St. Louis Lambert International Airport[1]

St. Louis Lambert International Airport (IATA: STL, ICAO: KSTL, FAA LID: STL), formerly Lambert–St. Louis International Airport, is an international airport serving metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Commonly referred to as Lambert Field or simply Lambert, it is the largest and busiest airport in Missouri. The 2,800-acre (1,100 ha)[2] airport sits 14 miles (23 km) northwest of downtown St. Louis in unincorporated St. Louis County between Berkeley and Bridgeton. In January 2019, it saw more than 259 daily departures to 78 nonstop domestic and international locations.[3]

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 (ATC), its status as the primary hub of Trans World Airlines (TWA), and its iconic terminal.[4] St. Louis Lambert International Airport is the primary airport in the St. Louis area, with MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, about 37 miles (60 km) east, serving as a secondary metropolitan commercial airport. The two airport terminals are connected by the Red Line of the region's light rail mass transit system, the MetroLink.



Aerial view of Naval Air Station St. Louis in the mid-1940s

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.[5]

In June 1920, the Aero Club of St. Louis leased 170 acres (69 ha) of cornfield, the defunct Kinloch Racing Track[6] and the Kinloch Airfield in October 1923, during The International Air Races. The field was officially dedicated as Lambert–St. Louis Flying Field[7] in honor of Albert Bond Lambert, an Olympic silver medalist golfer in the 1904 Summer Games, president of Lambert Pharmaceutical Corporation (which made Listerine),[8] 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 airports in the United States.[4][9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[9]

By the 1930s, Robertson Air Lines, Marquette Airlines, and Eastern Air Lines provided passenger service to St. Louis, as did Transcontinental & Western Air (later renamed Trans World Airlines).[9][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

In August 1942, voters passed a $4.5 million bond issue to expand the airport by 867 acres (351 ha) and build a new terminal.[9]

During World War II, the airport became a manufacturing base for the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation (later McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing) and Curtiss-Wright.[19][20]

Post World War II expansion; Ozark Airlines hub[edit]

Terminal 1 as it originally appeared
Ozark DC-9 at Lambert

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 airline operations at the airport.[11]

Ozark Air Lines began operations at the airport in 1950.[9]

To handle increasing passenger traffic, Minoru Yamasaki was commissioned to design a new terminal, 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 (JFK) in New York City and Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport.[4][9] A fourth dome was added in 1965 following the passage of a $200 million airport revenue bond.[21][22][9]

The April 1957 Official Airline Guide shows 44 weekday TWA departures; American, 24; Delta, 16; Ozark, 14; Eastern, 13; Braniff, 6 and Central, 2. The first scheduled jet was a TWA 707 to New York on July 21, 1959.[23][24]

In 1971, the airport became Lambert–St. Louis International Airport.[20]

In the 1970s, St. Louis city officials proposed a new airport in suburban Illinois to replace Lambert. 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 intended site; MidAmerica St. Louis Airport opened in 1997 in Mascoutah, Illinois). Concourse A and Concourse C were rebuilt into bi-level structures 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.[25] 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.[26][27]

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 in 1970 and 936 million revenue passenger miles in 1975;[28] Ozark soon faced heavy competition in TWA's new hub at Lambert.

In 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 included Air Illinois, Air Indiana, Braniff International Airways, Britt Airways, Brower Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Northwest Orient, Republic Airlines, Texas International Airlines, Trans-Mo Airlines, and USAir.[29]

Trans World Airlines hub[edit]

TWA L-1011 at Lambert

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 (KCI) and had large operations at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) as well as St. Louis. TWA deemed Kansas City's 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.[30] After Concourse D was completed in 1985, TWA began transatlantic service from Lambert to London, Frankfurt, and Paris.[31]

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.[32] 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, New York, in 1993.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35]

These factors led to the planning and construction of a 9,000 foot (2,700 metres) 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.[36] It required moving seven major roads and destroying about 2,000 homes, six churches, and four schools in Bridgeton.[36][37][38] 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.[39][40] As of 2018, the runway is used for approximately 12% of all takeoffs and landings.[41]

American Airlines hub[edit]

American MD-83 at Lambert
F-15s flying over the 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.[42] 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.[43][44] The plan for Lambert was to become a reliever hub for the existing American hubs at Chicago–O'Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). 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 provide a significant boost to the airline's east/west connectivity.[45][46]

The September 11 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.[47] Overnight, American no longer had the same need for a hub that bypassed its hubs at Chicago and Dallas, which suddenly became less congested.[48] 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.[49][50][51] Total passenger traffic dropped to 20.4 million that same year.[34] 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.[52][53]

In 2006, the United States Air Force (USAF) 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.[54][55]

2006 also saw the completion of the W-1W airport expansion after eight 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.[56][40]

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.[57]

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.[58] At Lambert, American shifted more flights from mainline to regional.[59] Total passengers enplaned fell 6% to 14.4 million in 2008, then fell another 11% to 12.8 million passengers in 2009.[34]

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.[60] These cuts ended the remaining hub operation.[61] 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.[62][63]

Recent years[edit]

Terminal 1 windows boarded up after the 2011 tornado
Terminal 1 departures hall in 2017 after renovation

In early October 2009, Southwest Airlines announced the addition of six daily flights to several cities as an immediate response to the cutbacks announced by American Airlines. 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. In 2016, Southwest reached 100 daily departures from St. Louis.[64] This had the effect of replacing American as the carrier with the most daily flights after American's service cuts in summer 2010.[65][66] Southwest Airlines continues to dominate the airport to this day.[67]

On April 22, 2011, an tornado (rated EF4 nearby but not at the airport itself) struck the airport's Terminal 1, destroying jetways and breaking more than half of the windows.[68][69][70][71] One Southwest Airlines aircraft was damaged when the wind pushed a baggage conveyor belt into it. Four American Airlines aircraft were damaged, including one that was buffeted by 80 mph (130 km/h; 70 kn) crosswinds while taxiing after landing.[72] Another aircraft, with passengers still on board, was moved away from its jetway by the storm.[73] The FAA closed the airport at 08:54 pm CDT, then reopened it the following day at temporarily lower capacity.[74] The damage to Concourse C even forced several airlines to use vacant gates in the B and D concourses.[75] 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.[76] Concourse C underwent renovations and repairs and finally reopened on April 2, 2012.[75]

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 found that the current name had the potential to confuse travelers.[77] 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.[78][79]

Recent years have seen the addition of new airlines, with Sun Country Airlines and Spirit Airlines commencing operations at the airport in 2018 and 2021 respectively.[80][81] In August 2017, WOW air announced that in 2018 it would commence four weekly A321 flights between St. Louis and Reykjavík, marking a return of transatlantic service to the airport for the first time since 2003.[82] Despite strong sales, WOW announced in October 2018 that it would be ending the route due to the ongoing financial struggles of the airline.[83][84]

An ongoing dispute is 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.[85] On April 24, 2017, the FAA accepted the preliminary application, allowing the city to fully explore the possibility of privatizing the airport.[86] In December 2019, Mayor Lyda Krewson announced the end of any privatization efforts.


Interior of Concourse E


The airport has two terminals with a total of five concourses. All international flights without border preclearance are processed in Terminal 2. Terminal 1 features an American Airlines Admirals Club and one of the largest USO facilities in the nation.[87][88] Terminal 2 features a common use lounged operated by Wingtips.[89]

  • Terminal 1 contains 68 gates across four concourses, lettered A–D.[90]
  • Terminal 2 contains 18 gates across one concourse, lettered E.[90]


STL control tower

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 7,607 feet (2,319 m). The newest runway is 11/29, completed in 2006 as part of a large expansion program.[2][91]

Runway Length Width
12R/30L 11,019 feet (3,359 m) 200 feet (61 m)
12L/30R 9,003 feet (2,744 m) 150 feet (46 m)
11/29 9,001 feet (2,744 m) 150 feet (46 m)
6/24 7,607 feet (2,319 m) 150 feet (46 m)

The airport's current ~156-foot (~47.6-meter) control tower opened in 1997 at a cost of approximately $15 million.[92][93]

Ground transportation[edit]

Metro Train To City The airport is connected to MetroLink's Red Line via stations at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.[94] MetroLink lines provide direct or indirect service to downtown St. Louis, the Clayton area and Illinois suburbs in St. Clair County.

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.[95]

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 St. Louis exurbs in St. Charles County with a north/south connection at I-270 immediately west of the airport.

Art and historical pieces[edit]

The Monocoupe 110 Special in Terminal 2

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 (2.4 m) tall and 51 feet (16 m) 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 American woman in space. Spencer Taylor and Solomon Thurman created the mural in 1990.[96][97] The mural had a re-dedication ceremony in 2012.[98]

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.[99] 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 aircraft. It was removed in 2018 and returned to the Missouri Historical Society, from which the aircraft had been on loan since 1979, for preservation purposes.[100] Until 1998, a Ryan B-1 Brougham, a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, hung next to the D-127.[101]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Canada Express Toronto–Pearson [102]
Air Choice One Burlington (IA), Jonesboro [103]
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma [104]
American Airlines Boston (begins November 2, 2021),[105] Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
Seasonal: Cancún
American Eagle Austin,[107] Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington–National [106]
Boutique Air Jackson (TN) [108]
Cape Air Kirksville, Marion, Owensboro, Quincy [109]
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia, Salt Lake City [110]
Delta Connection Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia, Salt Lake City [110]
Frontier Airlines Cancún, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami (begins November 1, 2021), Orlando
Seasonal: Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare,[111] Punta Cana
Southwest Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Cancún, Charlotte, Chicago–Midway, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas–Love, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Houston–Hobby, Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose (CA), San Juan (begins November 13, 2021), Sarasota, Tampa, Tulsa, Washington–National, Wichita
Seasonal: Charleston (SC), Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Montego Bay, Myrtle Beach, Oakland, Panama City (FL), Pensacola, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle/Tacoma
Spirit Airlines Cancún (begins December 22, 2021),[114] Fort Lauderdale,[114] Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando,[114] Tampa (begins November 17, 2021)[114]
Seasonal: Fort Myers (begins November 17, 2021), Pensacola,[114] Phoenix–Sky Harbor (begins November 17, 2021)
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul [116]
United Airlines Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark [117]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach


Amazon Air Baltimore, Ontario [118]
DHL Aviation Cincinnati, Omaha
FedEx Express Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul
UPS Airlines Boise, Chicago-Rockford, Louisville, Portland (OR)


Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from STL (August 2020 – July 2021)[119]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Denver, Colorado 271,570 Frontier, Southwest, United
2 Atlanta, Georgia 253,690 Delta, Southwest
3 Orlando, Florida 208,940 Delta, Frontier, Southwest
4 Phoenix, Arizona 178,170 American, Southwest
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 173,980 American
6 Las Vegas, Nevada 170,770 Frontier, Southwest, Sun Country
7 Charlotte, North Carolina 161,880 American
8 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 140,230 American, United
9 Dallas–Love, Texas 131,200 Southwest
10 Chicago–Midway, Illinois 101,940 Southwest

Airline market share[edit]

Busiest airlines serving STL
(August 2020 – July 2021)
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 4,450,000 61.19%
2 American Airlines 695,000 9.56%
3 Delta Air Lines 458,000 6.30%
4 SkyWest Airlines 377,000 5.18%
5 Frontier Airlines 281,000 3.86%
6 Others 1,011,000 13.90%

Airport traffic[edit]

See source Wikidata query and sources.

Accidents and incidents[edit]


  • August 5, 1936: Chicago and Southern Flight 4, a Lockheed 10 Electra headed for Chicago, crashed after takeoff, killing all eight passengers and crew. The pilot became disoriented in fog.
  • January 23, 1941: a Douglas DC-3 of Transcontinental & Western Air crashed 0.4 miles west of St. Louis Municipal Airport during a landing attempt in adverse weather, killing two occupants out of the 14 on board.[120]
  • August 1, 1943: during a demonstration flight of an "all St. Louis-built glider", a Waco CG-4A, USAAF serial 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; and Henry Mueller, St. Louis Court presiding judge.[121] The failed component had been manufactured by Robertson subcontractor Gardner Metal Products Company, of St. Louis, which, coincidentally, had been a casket maker.[122]
  • September 6, 1944: the starboard engine of the sole completed McDonnell XP-67 fighter prototype, USAAF serial 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 accident, United States Army Air Forces leaders declared the XP-67 unnecessary, canceling the program.[123]
  • May 24, 1953: a Meteor Air Transport Douglas DC-3 crashed on approach to the airport, killing six of the seven people on board.[124]
  • 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 aircraft crashed into the same McDonnell Aircraft Corporation building (adjacent to the airport) where their spacecraft was being assembled.[125]
  • March 20, 1968: a McDonnell F-4 Phantom II jet fighter crashed on takeoff during a test flight. The aircraft pitched up and stalled almost immediately after lifting from the runway; both crewmen were able to eject and were not seriously injured. The aircraft was destroyed in the ensuing explosion and fire. The crash was allegedly caused by a wrench socket, mistakenly left in the cockpit by maintenance crews, becoming lodged inside the control stick well on takeoff, jamming the stick in the full aft position.[126]
  • March 27, 1968: at about 6 p.m., an Ozark DC-9, operating as Flight 965, and a Cessna 150F on a training flight 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 destroyed 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 aircraft 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.[127]
  • 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 on board. 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.[128]
  • July 6, 1977: a Fleming International Airways Lockheed L-188 Electra, a cargo flight, crashed during the takeoff roll; all three occupants were killed.[129]
  • January 9, 1984: Douglas DC-3 registration 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 fuel instead of avgas.[130]
  • April 8, 1990: A Missouri Air National Guard F-4 Phantom II veered off the runway during takeoff, crashed, and burst into flames. The pilot suffered minor injuries after his ejection seat failed to deploy and he was forced to exit the burning wreckage while the weapons officer fractured his left leg when he ejected from the aircraft.[131]
  • November 22, 1994: TWA Flight 427 collided with a Cessna 441 Conquest, registration N441KM, at the intersection of runway 30R and taxiway Romeo. The TWA McDonnell Douglas MD-82 was taking off for Denver and had accelerated through 80 knots (150 km/h; 92 mph) 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. The investigation found the Cessna 441 had entered the wrong runway for its takeoff.[132]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CY2018 Passenger & Operation Statistics". St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
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  3. ^ "Departure Statistics". Lambert–St. Louis International Airport. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
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External links[edit]