City officials are celebrating the reopening of the C Concourse at Lambert St. Louis International Airport today.
The concourse has been closed since April 22 of last year when a tornado hit causing significant damage.
The concourse is new and improved according to director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge with brighter ceilings, new lighting and new restrooms among the improvements. Hamm-Niebruegge recalls the evening the tornado hit.
Lambert Airport is honoring African American pilots who broke color barriers in the sky with a re-dedication of its mural “Black Americans in Flight.”
Solomon Thurman, one of the mural's co-artists, said the five-panel mural depicts the aviation achievements of African Americans from WWI to the NASA shuttle mission.
"St. Louis is the only place where you can see an encapsulated story of the Tuskegee Airmen," he said. "There are many Tuskegee paintings around the country and perhaps around the world, but none tell the cohesive story."
Some passengers at Lambert Airport will be allowed to keep their belts and shoes on while passing through security checkpoints.
The Transportation Security Administration is including St. Louis in a program to make check-in more convenient for frequent fliers. The TSA says the program, which has been tested at seven major airports, will expand to 28 others, including Lambert, this year.
Missouri's revenues continue to be behind what is needed to balance the budget. January's figures show that net state revenues grew two percent over the same month last year.
The fiscal year began in July. For the first seven months of the 2012 fiscal year, Missouri's general revenues were up 1.3 percent. That is almost half the 2.7 percent growth rate that the governor's budget office says is needed to meet the budget.
Groups against smoking are urging the St. Louis County Council to make changes to the smoking ban that went into effect last year.
Currently, businesses whose food sales result in 25 percent of gross sales including food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are eligible for an exemption from the smoking ban. There are 145 businesses that currently allow smoking in the county.
Officials at Lambert Airport are hoping to reopen the C Concourse in April - about one year after the concourse was severely damaged in a Good Friday tornado. The April date is consistent with the projected timeframe we reported in October.
Remember seeing this video? That was the C Concourse.
On this day before Thanksgiving, a constant, steady flow of passengers are making their way through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Airport officials say about 23,000 passengers are going through checkpoints today.
Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge says so far the busy travel day has gone smoothly. She says one reason why is because children under 12 years old do not have to remove their shoes when they go through airport security.