Lambert Airport

via Flickr/Michael R. Allen

Now that Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has finished its major physical improvements, it is working to position itself to best advantage in today’s aviation economy.

The airport released a five-year strategic plan Wednesday with broad goals to strengthen its finances and to better meet the needs of its passengers. The plan centers on utilizing every asset the airport has while recognizing its limitations.

The Lambert International Airport roof was installed in 1956 and sustained damage from a tornado in 2011.
NikonHiker | Flickr |2011

The old copper roof at Lambert airport is enjoying a revival on the walls of St. Louis homes and businesses.

The roof was installed in 1956 and replaced last year. Lambert officials asked local presses to create printmaking plates from the discarded copper tile, and artists came up with three sets of limited-edition prints with nostalgic themes. One, by Firecracker press, shows a young, mid-century couple happily heading for their honeymoon.

(Flickr, Stu Seeger)

Business class will take on a whole new meaning when Southwest Airlines begins its first non-stop service from St. Louis to San Francisco on Tuesday.

The CEOs of 21 St. Louis-based startups will be aboard the inaugural flight where a few of them will give their elevator pitches at 30,000 feet.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

With pearly-white hangar floors and a private lounge stocked with comfy furniture, it's not too hard to believe that Jet Linx spent more than $1 million refurbishing its Lambert-St. Louis Airport terminal.

The Omaha-based private jet company spent the last few months sprucing up the former home of the Missouri National Guard. The terminal's stylishness is part of the company's appeal. Even the bathrooms have an elegant touch.

But Jim Mauze, president and base partner of Jet Linx St. Louis, said his company is attracting attention for more than just coziness.

via Flickr/Michael R. Allen

Lambert Airport is now screening luggage checked at Terminal 1 with a new automated baggage system.

The $50.7 million assembly of ramps, conveyor belts and X-rays replaces the bomb detection machines that were installed in ticketing areas after the 9/11 terrorists attacks.

Watch below for a bag’s-eye-view of the bomb-detecting security system:

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The Transportation Security Administration is clearing more than a quarter of the nation's commercial passengers for expedited screening as it expands its PreCheck program. Nationwide, the number of airports participating in the program has expanded from about 40 last year to more than 100 today.

During a press conference at Lambert Airport Tuesday, Federal Security Director William Switzer said travelers can now find separate screening lines at all concourses.

via Flickr/Michael R. Allen

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is preparing for a surge in visitors as the busy travel period surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day begins Friday.

Public Relations Manager Jeff Lea says the airport is expecting a 15 to 20 percent increase from normal passenger traffic at peak travel times over the next two weeks.

“The biggest travel day prior to Christmas for air travel is going to be Friday,” he said.

In addition, he adds that holiday travelers can expect to be flying with a significant number of men and women in uniform as well.

file photo

The week of Thanksgiving is one of the busiest weeks of the year for Lambert - St. Louis International Airport, as travelers make their way home for the holidays.

But movement of another sort is also going on at Lambert - a dual push to both make the airport a stronger economic engine for the region and a more inviting entry-point for the city.

Airport As Economic Driver

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri Air National Guard facility that has been vacant since 2009 is getting a new life, thanks to a company that's hoping to capitalize on the growing demand for general aviation traffic at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Charter flight provider JetLinx announced today that it will spend about $1 million to convert one of the buildings into a terminal for its clients. It will be the only general aviation company at Lambert with its own fleet of planes, which is expected to start operating in September.

(via Solar Impulse)

A solar powered airplane that landed in St. Louis last Tuesday is scheduled to depart early tomorrow morning [Friday].

This will be the 4th leg of the aircraft’s cross-continental flight.

Solar Impulse was originally scheduled to fly directly from St. Louis to Washington DC. But because of strong winds the plane will make an additional stop in Cincinnati to allow the team to rest and switch pilots.

The plane’s 12,000 solar cells power it by day while recharging batteries that allow it to fly at night.

via Solar Impulse

St. Louis will be a pit stop for the first solar-powered flight across America. It was announced Tuesday that Lambert Airport is one of five airports selected for Solar Impulse's cross-country flight.

"We are the city forever linked to Charles Lindbergh nearly 90 years ago," St. Louis mayor Francis Slay said. "This year we recognize that there are new milestones and advances to witness, and St. Louis will be part of that inspiring story."

Lambert Airport Approves Parking Rate Increase

Mar 6, 2013
(via Flickr/dbking)

If you're flying out of St. Louis, you might soon pay more for parking.

On Wednesday, Lambert-St. Louis Airport Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a parking rate increase for most of the lots.

Director of Lambert Airport, Rhondha Hamm-Niebruegge says the higher rates are to encourage visitors picking up travelers to use the cell phone lots instead of parking in the garage or circling the pick-up line.

Jason Van Eaton, Kit Bond Strategies

Missouri and St. Louis-area leaders are wrapping up a trade mission to China this week designed to revive the so-called China Hub project.

(via Tina Eaton)

Officials at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and the Transportation Security Administration are preparing for a boost in travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Between Friday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 25, the airport is expected to see a 10 to 15 percent increase in passengers.

via Flickr/Michael R. Allen

A proposal that would have boosted parking rates at Lambert Airport just before the start of the busy holiday travel seasons is on hold for now.

Commissioners were expected to vote today on a proposal that would boost the rates for parking at the garages for Terminals 1 and 2, as well as three of the airport's four surface lots, plus made a series of changes to the rates charged to ground transportation like taxis, hotel shuttles, and charter buses. The parking rates would have gone up Nov. 1, though the ground transportation rates would have changed in January.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Several new laws will take effect in Missouri tomorrow, including one that’s being challenged in federal court.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Police search for missing boy

Searchers are looking for a 12-year-old St. Louis County boy last seen Sunday night after telling his family he was going to swing on a rope on the Meramec River. A missing person advisory went out early Monday morning for Christopher Marks. He was last seen at about 7:30 p.m. last night in Pacific. Police are assembling this morning at the river with plans to search the water and the heavily-wooded area near it.

Lambert Airport detours end this morning

(via Flickr/dbking)

If you’re dropping someone off at Lambert Airport Monday morning expect a welcome surprise.

Months of roadwork has been completed and detours in front of baggage claim at Lambert’s Terminal 1 are coming to an end.

“So, it’s back to normal for our travelers as well as those picking up passengers,” Airport Spokesman Jeff Lea said.

Passenger pickup and most of the of the ground transportation loading areas are back to normal, too.

The majority of lower level exits will reopen Monday, as well, but some work will continue on the west end of the roadway.

St. Louis Public Radio photo

Management at Lambert Airport has signed off on an agreement with the Hudson Group to offer travelers a new lineup of retail stores.

If the St. Louis Board of Alderman green lights the deal, Hudson Group will take over 14 locations, boosting the total number of shops by three.    

Proposed new retail concepts range from one focused on St. Louis sports teams to an Eddie Bauer clothing shop. 

Airport spokesman Jeff Lea said the deal will also bring in guaranteed extra revenue.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

New Illinois laws aim to protect elderly

New laws signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this weekend are aimed at protecting the elderly in Illinois by increasing oversight of caregivers and making it easier for authorities to respond to cases of abuse or neglect.

One of the new pieces of legislation allows prosecutors to ask a court to freeze a suspect's assets if he is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. That's meant to keep a defendant from spending stolen money before restitution is collected.

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