Officials say the completion of improvements to the main runway at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia will help the facility expand its clientele and generate new business.
The six-month, $7.4 million project widened and lengthened the runway and improved the runway’s lighting system. Airport director Bob McDaniel says they also strengthened the runway to support larger aircraft like the Boeing 757 and Airbus 320.
"The real focus is our sports teams that come to play baseball, football and hockey. We’re ten minutes from all of the major sports venues and they can come and go through here very, very efficiently," McDaniel said at a press conference Monday.
St. Louis Downtown Airport is the third-busiest airport in the state of Illinois. The bulk of the funding for the runway improvements came from the federal government as part of the FAA authorization bill.
McDaniel and officials with Metro, which owns the airport, believe the runway improvements may also mean the 26 aviation businesses that surround the airport will generate more revenue and hire more employees.