Two major construction projects highlight the final pieces of a top to bottom makeover of Terminal 1 at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley joined Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge in announcing Tuesday that construction will begin on a $6.7 million project to replace the original copper roof on Lambert’s historic domed vaults.
“The days are numbered to see the wonderful green patina on top of this architecturally historic building,” said Mayor Francis Slay. “The new skin will shine of raw copper like it did in the mid-‘50s when the Terminal was built. The roof will slowly transform in color again with time as this Airport serves new generations in this region.”
As that project begins, the Airport is winding down on a budgeted $50.7 million project to overhaul its baggage system in the lowest level of its terminals which will improve efficiencies in screening checked baggage and immediately upgrade the customer experience during the check-in process.
The new inline baggage system in Terminal 1 is now fully operational. Passengers in Terminal 1 can now hand off their luggage at the ticket counter versus having to transport bags to multiple explosive detection system (EDS) machines that were installed in the ticketing areas after 9/11. Terminal 1 now operates with three EDS 9800 series machines that are now out of public view. A new 4,200 linear feet conveyor system transports luggage from every Terminal 1 airline ticket counter, through the new EDS machines, and on to the airlines for pickup to the aircraft. If bags need further screening, the system automatically diverts them to a resolution room where security officers will do a hands-on inspection to ensure there is no threat.
The inline baggage system for Terminal 2 is set to go live in April. It will operate in the same way and will be equipped with the same EDS machines. That system has a shorter total conveyor run of 2,258 linear feet.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is covering 90 percent of the eligible project costs, or approximately $45.6 million, through grants and funding that were announced in 2010.
"Incorporating state-of-the-art Explosive Detection System technology into an automated system such as we now have at STL not only increases efficiencies and allows for airport growth, but it reduces TSA officer injuries from lifting and moving heavy bags," said Federal Security Director Bill Switzer. "In fact, most alarms can be resolved in the image resolution room without ever opening a bag."
“For passengers, it’s a return to the days of being able to actually check-in your bags at the ticket counter which is a convenience we haven’t been able to experience at Lambert in more than 12 years.” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Better yet, the stand-alone screening machines in the ticket areas will no longer be needed, freeing up space and improving the open space of our terminals.”
During the last two years, the baggage system construction was synched with on-going Airport Experience renovations that included major upgrades to Terminal 1 flooring, lighting, ticket counters, restrooms and signage. The $70 million renovation program, which also included improvements to Concourses A and C, wraps up this spring.
The new copper roof is the project that will top off all these recent improvements. The Airport is replacing the 60-year old solid copper roof with copper that’s bonded with a stainless steel core for greater durability. Demolition will begin on the most-eastern dome with demolition of the existing roof and installation of the new roof phased in moving west over the next 10 months. The project calls for installing approximately 102,000 sq. ft. of the copper material to cover the four domes. After installation, the original light bronze color of the copper will begin to turn dark brown within a year due to exposure to the elements. Over the next 20 years or so, the roof will patina to a soft green.
The roof construction will be led by general contractor Kozeny-Wagner. The major contractors for the new baggage system are C. Rallo/ Hunt Joint Venture, Five Star Airport Alliance and Vanderlande Industries.
Both Portland and Trenton are new nonstop markets from Lambert while the San Francisco service adds additional frequency and seat availability. Frontier will provide roundtrip flights three days of the week between each destination. Frontier is offering introductory fares as low as $109* each way to Portland and San Francisco, and $55* each way to Trenton through Feb. 23, 2014, only at its website, FlyFrontier.com.
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“Frontier’s expansion of flights from St. Louis really addresses two top targets of service for this Airport with a new non-stop destination to Portland, Ore., and additional service to San Francisco,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Trenton is also a new non-stop market and we believe it will be very attractive for both business and leisure travelers who want more price-conscious options to reach numerous destinations between New York City and Philadelphia.”
“With the addition of these three cities, St. Louis area residents now have an ultra-low fare option to get to both the east and west coast with Frontier,” said Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s senior vice president, Commercial.
When service starts, Frontier Airlines will offer nonstop service from St. Louis to a total of 10 destinations. Through its partnership with Apple Vacations, Frontier offers service to Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Huatulco, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. Domestically, nonstop service is available to Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Trenton.
Frontier currently operates flights to 75 destinations in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic with its primary hub at Denver International Airport. For more information, visit FlyFrontier.com.
Lambert- St. Louis International Airport held its annual Catch Us Giving Annual Awards Reception today honoring those employees who have been recognized by passengers and visitors for going the extra mile. Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge named Customer Service Representative Keith Burleson with Air Serv as the Ambassador of the Year. Air Serv is the vendor which provides services to Southwest Airlines in Terminal 2. Burleson was chosen for being recognized by passengers and visitors throughout the year for providing excellent customer service.
“This event is a great time for us to come together as a unit and reinforce the importance of going the extra mile for the passengers we serve,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert Airport Director.
The Catch Us Giving customer service program receives tremendous support from the business community. Sponsors of the Catch Us Giving Annual Awards Reception are American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Funjet Vacations, The Regional Business Council, Extended Stay America, InMotion Entertainment, Hudson, Super Park and US Bank.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport recorded a dip of less than one percent in overall passenger activity for 2013 serving 12,570,000 passengers. That’s roughly 112,000 passengers fewer than in 2012 when Lambert reported 12,683,000 passengers. This past year, Lambert recorded approximately 6,298,000 in enplanements and 6,272,000 in arriving passengers.
Lambert reported a positive finish in the final month of 2013 with December enplanements up 1.8 percent (515,000 vs. 506,000 in Dec. 2012) and arriving passengers up 0.6 percent (495,000 vs 492,000 in December 2012).
This is a bounce back after November saw the biggest drop in passenger enplanements (-7.2% vs. Nov. 2012) during 2013.
“We expected a downturn in November because of the late Thanksgiving holiday pushed it too close for many with travel plans for Christmas,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Looking at overall trends, this is a just a slight dip after Lambert has seen two straight years of passenger growth in 2011 and 2012.”
For 2013, Southwest Airlines remained the top carrier with a near 48.7 percent market share based on enplaned passengers. Southwest enplaned 3,067,000 passengers in 2013. American is Lambert’s second biggest carrier with a 15.3 percent market share (964,000 enplaned passengers). Delta Air Lines is Lambert’s third largest carrier with a 13.9 percent market share (875,000 enplaned passengers) in 2013.
Lambert recorded 125,000 aircraft operations in 2013 for airlines, general aviation and military aircraft. Lambert’s serves on average 250 daily departures to more than 60 non-stop destinations.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is becoming a bigger gateway to Mexico and the Caribbean with the kickoff of this year’s winter and early spring vacation season.
In 2014, Lambert will see a 12 percent increase in flights to Mexico and the Caribbean. During the peak travel period between February and April, Lambert will serve as many as 14 flights per week to six vacation destinations.
Two new Mexico destinations from St. Louis highlight the increase in flights. Lambert will offer new weekly service to Puerto Vallarto (PVR) and Los Cabos (SJD), starting February 15 and February 17, respectively. The most popular vacation market from St. Louis is currently Cancun, with service to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico operating as many as six days a week. Lambert also has weekly flights to Huatulco in Mexico, Montego Bay in Jamaica and and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
“Our vacation charter partners are seeing a great draw in our region for these trips even if customers have to drive several hours to the Airport,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “We’ve witnessed a growth in our leisure travel customer base that extends beyond our normal catchment area for these vacation package trips because of our ability to offer great frequency and destination choice.”
The direct flights are offered on Frontier Airlines, with vacation packages offered through Apple Vacations and Funjet Vacations.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is preparing for a busy holiday travel period surrounding the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Passengers should expect an increase in passenger traffic of 15-20 percent at times in the next two weeks versus non-holiday travel periods.
The kickoff begins this week with the Airport expecting 19-20,000 departing passengers on December 20. Friday marks the annual Military Holiday Block Leave with more than 5,000 soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood being transported to Lambert for flights home and elsewhere. The TSA will plan on opening all checkpoints on this morning by 3 a.m. Any passenger flying out prior to 9 a.m. Friday should expect long lines and congestion in Lambert terminals and concourses.
The USO of Missouri is planning a series of events at both terminals for military personnel who will begin arriving as early as 1:30 a.m. Friday. Events include the annual appearance of Santa and Mrs.Clause, music, military giveaways and a live broadcast of 97.1 FM’s Allman in the Morning from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. in Terminal 1.
U.S. Airlines are predicting a two percent increase in air travel over this winter holiday period with passenger loads on planes to be 80-90 percent full. Friday is expected to be the busiest air travel day across the U.S. prior to Christmas.
Passengers should arrive 90 minutes to two hours prior to their flights during holiday travel period. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding passengers that they can help reduce wait times at security checkpoints with the following tips:
·3-1-1 for liquids: Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less. and all bottles must fit in 1 quart size plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening.
·Gifts: TSA recommends passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.
·Food: Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection
· Children 12 and under and adults 75 and older: TSA has modified the screening procedures for children 12 and under and adults 75 and older.
·Check for prohibited items: Travelers can use the “Can I bring my...” app on www.TSA.gov or www.TSA.gov/mobile to check what items are allowed/not allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. Smartphone users can easily download the “My TSA” app to quickly find helpful information about TSA policies and procedures.
·Prepare for security: Have a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID and boarding pass out and remove liquids and large electronics, including laptops, from carry-on baggage. Remember to remove shoes, outerwear, and bulky jewelry and empty pockets. Place valuable items in a carry-on bag.
·TSA’s Wounded Warrior Screening program: This program allows expedited screening and curb to gate service for this trusted group of citizens. Wounded warriors or their care coordinators can contact TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with details of the itinerary once flight arrangements are made with the airline.
·More Travel Tips: Check out TSA’s helpful Traveler Information site for more useful information to help ease the traveling public through security checkpoints. Additional holiday travel tips are available: http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/11/tsa-2013-holiday-travel-tips.html
Picking Up Passengers: Use Free Cell Phone Lots
The impact of this busy travel season also applies to those picking up passengers at Lambert. The Airport recommends motorists use one of two cell phone lots to wait for passengers to arrive. These free waiting zones are conveniently located within a few minutes from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and feature display boards to help check the status of incoming flights. Motorists should contact arriving passengers via a mobile phone before leaving the Cell Phone Lot to confirm they are ready for immediate pickup at the terminals. Passenger pick up zones at each terminal are for active loading only; no waiting is allowed. For cell phone locations and more information, click here.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is about to get a lot more kid friendly.
Today officials from Lambert, The Magic House St. Louis Children’s Museum, and Rally Saint Louis announced that a 1,500-square-foot, hands-on children’s exhibit has received full funding and approvals to begin construction. This is a $150,000 project. It will open in late May for the start of the busy summer travel season.
“We’re thrilled to welcome The Magic House’s unparalleled brand of engaging children’s exhibits to the Airport in the C Concourse,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Director of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. “This is just one more element that is helping to build upon the overall airport experience.”
“The Play Port” will feature a transportation hub of fun with climb-in and climb-out venues, including a plane, a train and multiple cars. The play area will also include a child-size air traffic control tower, car rental counters and an airport screening area.
“Traveling with young children can be challenging, and our goal is to create a fun and welcoming experience in St. Louis and convey what a wonderful place the metro area is for families,” said Beth Fitzgerald, President of The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum. “This has been a longtime dream to use The Magic House’s unique interactive play and learning concepts to welcome and entertain visitors to our airport.”
City of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay applauded the idea, as well as the grassroots and corporate support the project received to make it a reality.
“We’re living in a new era of collaboration and innovation across St. Louis,” Mayor Slay said. “We’re all working to improve our City and region and to see projects coming to fruition through Rally Saint Louis is rewarding, to say the least.”
Major donors and supporters of this exhibit include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Carr Lane Manufacturing Co., the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, Bi-State Development Agency/Metro, Jane and Dave Peacock, as well as private donations generated through Rallystl.org.
After launching in November 2012, the first-of-its-kind platform allows consumers to submit, vote for, and help fund ideas that drive progress in greater St. Louis. Rally Saint Louis has served as a key player in generating and funding five projects, including The Magic House exhibit, across greater St. Louis, as well as:
“Rally Saint Louis has continued to spark the imagination and civic pride of our fellow St. Louisans,” said Brian Cross, who co-founded Rally Saint Louis alongside partner Aaron Perlut. “Seeing great projects like this reach funding and become a reality for everyone in the region hopefully will inspire more people to get involved and create the next big thing to make St. Louis even greater.”
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has filled vacancies for two key executive positions with the promotion of Jerry Beckmann and the addition of Amber Gooding.
Lambert promoted Jerry Beckmann to Deputy Director-Planning & Development after four years as the Airport Assistant Director of Engineering. Beckmann joins the Senior Executive Team managing Planning and Engineering, Planning Development and Environmental/Safety departments. Beckmann is responsible for the planning, contracting and execution of all construction projects at Lambert while also coordinating long-range master plan goals for all airfield and airport properties.
Jerry Beckmann holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering (University of Missouri-Rolla) and a Master’s of Business Administration (University of Missouri-St. Louis). He became a registered Professional Engineer in 1993.
Lambert also welcomes Amber Gooding to the staff as the Airport Assistant Director of DBE Programs. Amber Gooding is responsible for managing the City of St. Louis and Lambert Airport’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and M/WBE certification and compliance programs. These programs promote business opportunities for disadvantaged, minority and women businesses for Airport and City departments.
Amber Gooding has more than 25 years of experience in business development across several industries including healthcare, aviation and government. Gooding was most recently the President/CEO of Diverse Resources, LLC, a consulting firm aimed at supporting business development for small, minority and women-owned businesses. Prior to that position, she was the Director of Business Diversity Development at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority from 2007-2012. She was responsible for leading all aspects of the Airport Authority’s federally mandated Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Airport Concessions (ACDBE) programs.
Amber Gooding holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Finance (Christian Brothers University) and a Master’s in Business Administration (Lipscomb University) with a concentration in leadership and organizational development.
A crew from Missouri Terrazzo lays down a punch of color this week in the Terminal 1 Ticketing Lobby.
The Terminal 1 renovations at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport have featured sky white ceilings, walls and flooring. But this week, a punch of color was added to the mix of this major interior makeover. All new terrazzo flooring has been poured in stages over the last two years on the ticketing level. Terrazzo, which gives off a granite-like appearance, is made with a cementious mix of epoxy and aggregate such as marble, sea shells, plate glass, mirrors and other materials. For the final major pour of on the ticketing level, Lambert turned the mix blue for a new rest and relaxation area. This new terminal oasis will feature other eye-catching amenities as well, which will be revealed in coming weeks.
Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.