Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) has recorded its 13th straight month of passenger activity growth. Lambert served nearly 1.2 million passengers (departing and arriving) in September of 2016 to log a 10.4 percent increase over 2015. The Airport enplaned (boarded) 584,525 passengers in September versus 531,851 in 2015 to yield a 10 percent increase in that key airport statistic.
Through the 3rd quarter of 2016, Lambert has recorded 10.4 million total passengers for a 9.1 percent increase over the same time frame in 2015. Third quarter year-over-year growth in total passengers is 8.6 percent. If the growth rate holds through the end of the year, Lambert will serve one million more passengers than in 2015. Lambert’s 2015 total passenger count was 12.7 million passengers.
“We’re really seeing a strong and steady travel trend hold from summer through the fall and that is very encouraging for us, and our airlines,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “This is a result of airlines adding new destinations, adding additional flights to current markets and upgrading to larger aircraft to meet the demand we have now in St. Louis.”
Aircraft activity also continues to show growth in 2016. Lambert’s passenger airlines operated 7,019 departures in September for a 3.7 percent increase versus 2015. Year-to-date growth for aircraft departures is 2.5 percent (63,207 vs. 62,691) through the first nine months in 2015. Lambert recorded a 17 percent increase in air cargo for September (12.4 million lbs.). Year-to-date, the Airport has logged 102.2 million lbs. of cargo which is a 10 percent increase over the same time frame in 2015.
Lambert airlines have added 12 destinations since the summer of 2015. A majority of those new destinations have been with the growth of Southwest Airlines. This year alone, Southwest has added service to Little Rock, AR (LIT), Pittsburgh, PA (PIT); Wichita, KS (ICT); Des Moines, IA (DSM); Oakland, CA (OAK); and Cleveland, OH (CLE). Airlines have also added additional flights to current markets or have switched to larger aircraft. Lambert’s nine airlines served 70 destinations during the peak summer travel season.
The Mayor of the City of St. Louis and the Board of Aldermen have given their final approval of a board bill that will re-name St. Louis’ airport to St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Formal and public use of the new name is expected to begin in January 2017.
"I am pleased to have signed the bill, officially putting 'St. Louis' first. The new name emphasizes the important link between our City and our Airport, better marketing St. Louis to regional, national, and international visitors, while maintaining a connection to our rich aviation past,” said Mayor Francis Slay. “Leading with St. Louis explains where we are and who we are, helping us make the best case to continue to increase air traffic to our city."
The airport will continue to operate under its current name, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport through January.
“We are now beginning the formal process to submit the name change to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as notify other agencies and airport partners,” said Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.
Height Restriction for Oversized Vehicles Lifted on Air Flight Drive
The Terminal 1 (T1) Parking Garage entrance at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport reopens after construction on the Lambert International Boulevard (LIB) bridge required its closure. Work on the westbound LIB lanes has been completed and drivers can once again access the T1 Parking Garage through its main entrance.
Since late July, traffic was detoured around the work zone on the westbound LIB lanes, requiring the T1 Parking Garage entrance to be briefly relocated to the exit plaza of the garage via an interim entry lane on Departing Flights Drive.
The temporary height restriction for oversized vehicles traveling under the LIB bridge on Air Flight Drive has also been lifted, as the construction phase requiring scaffolding under the bridge is now complete. Detours are no longer required for large vehicles needing Terminal 1 access.
Work is still ongoing for the eastbound lanes of the LIB bridge. Drivers will likely see signs of road construction through November and may encounter minor rerouting around work zones until the project’s completion in early December.
The LIB bridge was built in the 1960’s and repairs and maintenance are required to extend the lifespan of the structure. The restoration includes replacing bridge bearings, patching concrete, resurfacing the bridge deck and resurfacing the approaching sections of the roadway that connect to the bridge.
Workers pave a section of Lambert International Blvd near the bridge on Monday.
For the past few months, drivers to Terminal 1 have been affected by a major bridge restoration project that has diverted motorists around construction areas. Airport engineers report that the project is right on schedule and should only impact drivers for a few more weeks. More than half of the bridge has been rehabilitated, with the remaining work focused on the eastbound LIB lanes. The Terminal 1 Parking Garage will be resuming normal operations very soon, after construction required temporarily relocating the entrance to one of the garage exit lanes. The oversized vehicle height restriction, put in place to accommodate the construction beneath the LIB bridge over Air Flight Dr., has been lifted. No more lane closures are expected, however there will be some lane maneuvering while the remaining work is completed.
Flowers are basking in the fading days of warmth on the Terminal 1 Ticketing Level Plaza at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Summer’s blooms bred by a full season of warmth will soon begin to fade with the turn to autumn. At Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, there are bouquets of summer annuals overflowing massive planters all along Terminal 1 Departures Drive and the Ticketing Level Plaza. They seem to be thriving without a hint that it’s mid-October, while thousands of passengers are jetting by, officially in light coat mode. It’s the annual up and down, between seasons, weather flux. We’ve faced our coolest mornings this week, yet the next few days we’ll spring back to 80’s. A few more moments to soak in the shine and hold onto summer’s colors a bit longer, until fall wins. And light coats turn heavy.
Dressed in their 1920s best, a group of friends pose together for a photo at Art of Travel on Thursday.
The 6th annual Art of Travel wined, dined and entertained nearly 400 guests at the airport’s signature event of the year on Thursday evening. This year had a 1920s theme, paying homage to the dawn of St. Louis aviation. Guests made a grand entrance dressed mostly in signature 20s style, and had fun taking photos like these in front of our selfie wall. Chefs were flown in from all over the country with HMSHost to create an incredible chef table dining experience featuring remastered 1920s favorite foods, along with signature cocktails and mixed drinks. In between bites guests shopped Copper Collection jewelry, our large silent auction, Carlos Zamora “Blue Lady” prints, and danced the night away to our live band. All proceeds from the event support the Lambert Art and Culture Program.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is making it easier for travelers with service animals with the debut of new indoor Service Animal Relief Areas (SARA) in each of the airport’s concourses.
SARA’s are now open in Concourse C (near gate C24) and Concourse A (near gate A16). The third SARA will open in Terminal 2 near gate E4 by October 14. These additional facilities will benefit passengers flying with service animals and pets because they can use the new facilities without having to leave the secured areas. The post-security facilities comply with new federal regulations for improved accessibility at major airports in the U.S.
“This is another step in improving the travel experience for all of our passengers, especially those who rely on service animals to travel,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Now those passengers with long layovers or connecting flights can more easily accommodate their animals with these new facilities without the hassle of going back through a security checkpoint.”
Each of the indoor SARA’s features a 100 sq. ft. wheelchair accessible space that includes a low profile tub covered with artificial turf and a decorative fire hydrant. A hose attached to the wall allows for easy cleanup of liquid waste. A dispenser for bags allows passengers to throw away the remaining animal waste. A sink is also provided for passenger use. Airport’s janitorial teams will monitor the areas to maintain cleanliness.
Travelers still have the option to use the Airport’s existing SARA’s located outside Terminal 1 (Door 6) and Terminal 2 (Door 15) before or after a flight. Those facilities were installed in 2009.
Roadway markings added outside of Terminal 2 on Friday help drivers determine in advance which lanes will take them to Arrivals and Departures.
Terminal 2 got a new addition this week to help drivers navigate. Traditional signs indicating the route to Arrivals and Departures are in place alongside and above the roads to each terminal. To help better inform unfamiliar drivers and reduce congestion, STL installed bright new roadway markings made of high-tech thermoplastic that is fused to the pavement. The special material is weather-resistant, and will be a permanent addition to the roadway. This alternative signage will be making its way to Terminal 1 this fall.
Bandit, decorated USO Therapy Dog, takes a rest following a very full morning of travel and celebration for USO of Missouri's 35th anniversary.
The USO of Missouri, headquartered in Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, serves traveling military members with locations in each Terminal. With two mobile USO units, they cover the entire state of Missouri, including Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base, as well as nearby Illinois counties. This week the USO of Missouri celebrated its 35th anniversary, having served 5.8 million military members and their families since the charity’s founding in 1981. The celebration included balloons, a cake, press, and a visit from a remarkable USO Therapy Dog who was part of the special occasion. The non-profit organization hosts events to help service members deployments, homecomings and event to help service members remain connected for family, home and country.
Chef Jeff Steelman (left) and his culinary team prep at KSDK studios for a live, on-air cooking demo for the Show Me St. Louis show.
STL’s signature event of the year, Art of Travel, is coming up on October 6 and promotion is underway for this special night that supports art at our airport. Art of Travel puts the spotlight on culinary arts, with a menu featuring favorite 1920s foods, transformed into sweet and savory delectable gourmet reincarnations. Executive chefs with HMSHost will be flown-in from all over the country just for Art of Travel, but Chef Jeff Steelman made an early visit on Friday to appear on KSDK Channel 5’s Show Me St. Louis. The segment featured some of the sizzling Art of Travel menu items which include slow roasted duck, locally-sourced lamb, oxtail, crab, shrimp, salmon, caviar, pork, beef and roasted chicken. Guests will also be able to indulge in a dreamy waffle and dessert bar. Click here to watch the segment and get excited! Tickets and more information can be found at ArtOfTravelSTL.com
Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.