St. Louis Public Radio News
12:16 pm
Thu April 3, 2003

City Leaders Endorse Airport Bonds

St. Louis, MO – Top St. Louis city leaders are endorsing a ballot measure that would authorize Lambert Airport to issue up to 2-billion dollars in revenue bonds to pay for future terminal and security upgrades.

St. Louis mayor Francis Slay says the bonds would not involve any new taxes and would be paid off by revenues generated at the airport.

The endorsement comes at a time when the airport's most recent budget proposal calls for 76 jobs to be cut because of a drop in traffic. But mayor Slay says by not going forward with improvements, Lambert risks becoming a second-class airport:

It will reduce air traffic; airlines that consolidate may decide that they're going to consolidate someplace else because they don't like our hub," Slay said. "That will cause more reduction in jobs, and would impact our economy even more significantly, he added.

Airport officials say the bonds would be issued over the next 10 to 15 years. St. Louis voters decide on the measure next Tuesday.