|MidAmerica St. Louis Airport
Scott Air Force Base
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Owner||St. Clair County & USAF|
|Serves||Belleville, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri|
|Elevation AMSL||459 ft / 140 m|
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.
The airport is the secondary domestic passenger airport for the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is the largest and main domestic and international airport for the region. MidAmerica has operated as a joint use airport since beginning operations in November 1997 and is currently served by Allegiant Air with direct flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport, McCarran International Airport, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Punta Gorda Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 32,589 passenger enplanements in 2015 (63,000 total passengers). It was included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017-2021, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport based on enplanements (more than 10,000 per year).
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport was created to alleviate crowding at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, but 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 Airport 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.
Passenger service has increased dramatically since Allegiant Airlines re-started service in 2012 with flights to eight destinations and further frequency increases in 2017. Allegiant recently announced a ninth destination (Phoenix-Mesa) to begin in November 2017.
Four passenger airlines have started operations at MidAmerica. While the first three went out of business or closed operations at the airport, Allegiant Airlines currently offers eight destinations (nine beginning in November 2017):
From the onset, the passenger terminal was planned as an expandable facility that would provide passenger accommodations for the initial opening of MidAmerica Airport and allow for easy expansion if needed. The passenger terminal is located in a 250-foot-wide by 700-foot long terminal building expansion envelope, bounded by a runway and parking lot. The initial build-out provides two upper level departure gates (both have jet bridges) with additional ground-level gates to serve smaller commuter aircraft.
The following airline offers scheduled passenger service:
|Fort Lauderdale, Fort Walton Beach, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford, Phoenix/Mesa (begins November 17, 2017), Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Myrtle Beach
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.
Both Boeing Defense, Space & Security and North Bay Produce currently have facilities on site. North Bay Produce primarily ships 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 for multiple military aircraft.
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport covers 7,003 acres (2,834 ha) and has two runways:
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.
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.
USDOT's most current data indicates 166,000 passengers used BLV between April 2016 and March 2017 and the airport was ranked 237th in the United States. USDOT's Calendar Year 2016 data indicated 80,000 enplanements (157,000 total passengers), nearly triple the 2015 total. FAA's Calendar Year 2015 data indicated 32,589 enplanements (63,000 total passengers), nearly double the 2014 total. In calendar year 2014, the airport was ranked 363 in the United States with 16,328 passenger enplanements. This was a 20.57% increase over 2013. In calendar year 2013, the dual-use facility was ranked 373 in the United States with 13,542 passenger enplanements. This placed it ninth in the state of Illinois. By comparison, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was ranked 31 in the United States with over 6.21 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.
|1||St. Petersburg, FL: PIE||21,910||Allegiant|
|2||Sanford, FL: SFB||21,220||Allegiant|
|3||Punta Gorda, FL: PGD||17,210||Allegiant|
|4||Destin, FL: VPS||16,900||Allegiant|
|5||Las Vegas, NV: LAS||14,530||Allegiant|
|6||Jacksonville, FL: JAX||5,450||Allegiant|
|7||Fort Lauderdale, FL: FLL||3,380||Allegiant|
|8||Myrtle Beach, SC: MYR||2,930||Allegiant|
Total Passengers (BLV)
|Year||Total Passengers||% Change|
|2017||104,751 (Through June)||49%|
Shiloh-Scott St. Louis MetroLink rail station links Scott Air Force Base with direct trains to downtown St. Louis on MetroLink's Red Line. One-ride and all-day tickets can be purchased from vending machines on the platforms. MetroLink lines provide direct or indirect service to St. Louis, the Clayton area, and Illinois suburbs in St. Clair County. The line does not go all the way to the airport; one must either ride a bus or find other transportation in order to reach the station.