Severe winter weather through the first three months of 2014 impacted travel numbers for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Through the first quarter, when Lambert experienced a large number of airline cancellations due to weather across the U.S., Lambert saw a 4.4 percent drop in total passengers. The Airport recorded 2,731,968 total passengers (arriving and departing) vs 2,858,057 in the same time frame in 2013.
The number of aircraft departures dropped 7.8 percent in the first three months versus 2013, another indication of the impact of cancelled flights.
“The impact on our flight activity was not unexpected considering we just faced one of the worst winter seasons in the last two decades. And it wasn’t just here, but across the U.S.,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “We certainly don’t see this as a trend that will continue because we’ve moved into the better weather seasons.”
Recent blooms frame the air traffic control tower at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
After one of the harshest winters in decades, St. Louis is finally being able to embrace a change of seasons. The debut of spring has battled the out-going winter through much of April. But in the last week, spring has begun to put on a show across the region. At Lambert, blooms are in full force as they soak in warmer temperatures. Flowering trees, bushes and plants signal the Airport’s busy summer travel season is fast approaching.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport will shut down runway 11/29 on the morning of Saturday, April 19 to hold a 2-hour full scale exercise of its emergency plan involving the response to an aircraft crash.
During the training, Airport Rescue Firefighters (ARFF) will be the first responders and will attack a live fire produced from a Mobile Aircraft Trainer, a 50-ft fuselage which produces flames to simulate a fully engulfed aircraft (pictured left). The exercise begins at 10 a.m. and will be completed by 12 noon.
The aircraft firefighting trainer will be staged at the east end of Runway 11/29 as part of a mock crash site of a jet.
Airport Police, EMS, and dozens of other departments will be participating in the drill along with support from Lambert airlines and two area hospitals.
As part of the exercise, the Airport’s emergency responders will coordinate the treatment and transportation of crash victims, made up of a few dozen volunteers. Some of the volunteers will be transported to area hospitals to extend the emergency training to those facilities. Airline staff will simulate the operation of a victim support center in the Airport, which is required by the FAA during major aircraft incidents.
The full scale emergency plan exercise is required for all commercial airports by the FAA every three years.
The Pasta House Co. and Schlafly Beer are two well-known brands in St. Louis with venues at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. They have now expanded at Lambert with a combination venue in Terminal 2 that now features the best of both the Pasta House and Schlafly craft brews.
The 1,500 sq. ft. restaurant and bar is open across from Gate E4 serving passengers for Southwest Airlines and Air Tran Airways.
Passengers can find all the traditional Pasta House menu items from spaghetti, lasagna, penne primavera and pizza. Appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads and burgers are also on the menu. Customers will find the full selection of Schlafly beers at this location as well as rotating food specials inspired by Schlafly, which operates three restaurant locations in St. Louis including its venue in Concourse C. The other Pasta House location is in the lower level of Terminal 1. There are 16 company-owned and franchise-operated Pasta House Co. locations throughout St. Louis with other stores in eastern Missouri and western Kentucky.
The new venue is solely operated by St. Louis based OHM Concessions Group, LLC. OHM also operates other airport venues, including Dunkin Donuts and Great American Bagel as a sub-contractor for HMSHost, the Airport’s food and beverage concessionaire.
Members of the Chinese National Baseball Team arrived in Terminal 2 this week to meet the St. Louis Cardinals and play an exhibition game.
Sports has always been a key to connecting cultures. This week, St. Louis is hosting the Chinese National Baseball Team. The team arrived at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport late Thursday through Terminal 2. St. Louis-based Rawlings Sporting Goods Company helped coordinate the trip which is intended to encourage cultural ties as well as promote the major league game and the St. Louis Cardinals in China. The team will get to watch the Cardinals and Chicago Cubs square off at Busch Stadium over the weekend. There, they’ll quickly see how St. Louis fans embrace the game. Players will grab their hats and bats, too, when they play an exhibition game against the Maryville University Saints.
Warmer weather and bright skies are helping to push the major Terminal 1 copper roof replacement project along at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. After a few weeks of demolition of the original roof and sub-layers on the first dome under construction, there was a mini milestone.
Roofers layed down the first section of new copper. One down and thousands more to go.
Navy Petty Officer Kali Clapsiddle is surprised to see and hear an Elvis Impersonator singing to her as she exits the C checkpoint to meet her family.
Elvis lives and he performs more than 400 shows a year! Twenty-one year old Kali Clapsiddle received a rousing welcome from Elvis as she left the C checkpoint to meet her family. Elvis lives on thanks to Clapsiddle’s family friend, Steve Davis. Davis was hired by Clapsiddle's dad to perform in honor of her arrival home and naval promotion. Clapsiddle arrived from Japan, where she has been stationed for the last two years aboard the USS George Washington. It was her first visit back home this year. Clapsiddle’s family is very proud of her. She was recently promoted to Petty Officer. Davis who performs under the moniker of Memories of Elvis, garnered a lot of attention from other passengers.
St. Louis sports fans rejoice. One of St. Louis’ most popular restaurants is expanding with a new location at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in the A Concourse. Mike Shannon’s Grill will be the third location for the family owned steak and seafood restaurant, which is named for the former St. Louis Cardinals player and the team’s long-time radio and TV broadcaster. It will open by early summer.
The signature Mike Shannon’s near Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis has been an institution for 25 years because of its menu and its stunning collection of Cardinals and baseball memorabilia. The Airport location will carry a similar theme and a variation on the menu featured at Mike Shannon’s Grill in nearby Edwardsville, Ill.
“This will be upscale comfort food with some of our signature steakhouse cuts,” said owner Pat Shannon-VanMatre. Menu items will include salads, wraps, soups and burgers. Petite filets and ribeyes, along with fish and chicken, round out the meal selections on the menu. A breakfast menu will also be available at the airport location.
The restaurant, to be located adjacent to gate A12 at the location currently operated as The Local, will also feature one-of–a kind Cardinals and baseball memorabilia collected by Mike Shannon over decades.
“We hope people coming through appreciate that St. Louis is the best baseball town in the country,” said Shannon-VanMatre.
The new Mike Shannon’s Grill is part of a partnership with HMSHost, Lambert’s master food and beverage concessionaire. The new restaurant will feature nearly 90 seats in the dining and bar areas. The space will be renovated in the coming weeks with dark leather upholstered seating accented by wood finishes and rounded out with a custom display of some amazing baseball history.
St. Louis Rams’Mike Naughton, Airport Police Chief Paul Mason and St. Louis Rams’ Mike Moyner smile while presenting Chief with a his own jersey.
Big smiles could be seen on the faces of those who attended one of the biggest retirement parties of the year in honor of Lambert Airport Police Chief Paul Mason. A retired U.S. Army Colonel, Chief Mason joined Lambert’s Police Department in September 1987. He commanded each of the department’s operational bureaus before he was appointed Chief in March 1997. A decorated military veteran, Chief Mason was recognized at his retirment celebration for his superior leadership and the legacy he leaves behind. Representatives with the St. Louis Rams presented the Chief with his own jersey for serving as the team’s Executive of Security since the team landed in St. Louis in 1995. Mayor Francis Slay deemed March 27, 2014 Chief Paul Mason Day and the end of a great era.
Southwest Airlines is expanding service this year from St. Louis to three destinations including new non-stop service to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The daily roundtrip service to SFO from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) will begin September 30, 2014.
Also this year, Southwest announced it is expanding service from STL to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Starting June 8, service to LAX will increase from two daily roundtrips to three daily roundtrips. The DCA service will also increase from two daily flights to three daily flights beginning November 2.
“We’re excited about the additional non-stop service to SFO because we have strong flow of traffic there and we think that market will do well,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “The increased flights to Washington DC and Los Angeles are just as valuable for this region and we applaud southwest for continuing to look at new opportunities for growth that increases connectivity to and from our region.”
Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.