MidAmerica St. Louis Airport
Scott Air Force Base
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Owner||St. Clair County & USAF|
|Serves||Belleville, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri|
|Elevation AMSL||459 ft / 140 m|
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (IATA: BLV, ICAO: KBLV, FAA LID: BLV) is a public use airport located adjacent to Scott Air Force Base. It is located 14 nautical miles (16 mi, 26 km) east of the central business district of Belleville and 18 nautical miles (21 mi, 33 km) east of downtown St. Louis in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States.
The airport is the secondary domestic passenger airport for the St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area. St. Louis Lambert International Airport is the largest and primary domestic and international airport for the region. MidAmerica has operated as a joint use airport since beginning operations in November 1997 and is currently served by Allegiant Air with direct flights to Fort Lauderdale (FL), Destin / Fort Walton Beach (FL), Jacksonville (FL), Las Vegas (NV), Myrtle Beach (SC), Orlando / Sanford (FL), Phoenix/Mesa (AZ), Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota (FL), Savannah/Hilton Head (SC), and St. Petersburg/Clearwater (FL).
Per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 152,278 passenger enplanements in 2018 (302,000 total passengers). It was included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport based on enplanements (more than 10,000 per year).
It is the ninth busiest of the 12 commercial airports In Illinois.
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport was created to alleviate crowding at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, but has been criticized as a pork barrel project. Featured several times as a "Fleecing of America" segment on the NBC Nightly News, it was called a "Gateway to Nowhere" by Tom Brokaw, costing taxpayers $313 million. Supporters credit MidAmerica's additional runway with saving Scott AFB from closure during BRAC 2005. They also describe MidAmerica as a "Gateway to the World", citing a new cargo terminal and customs facility designed to attract international cargo. Congestion at Lambert Airport has not been a problem since American Airlines reduced hub operations by fifty percent in 2003 and a new billion-dollar runway opened in 2006.
Passenger service has increased dramatically since Allegiant Airlines restarted service in 2012 with flights to nine destinations and further frequency increases in 2018.
MidAmerica Airport was named "Airport of the Year" in the category for airports that see more than 10,000 passengers annually by the Illinois Department of Transportation in 2018. 
Four passenger airlines have started operations at MidAmerica. While the first three went out of business or closed operations at the airport, Allegiant Airlines currently offers eleven destinations:
- On August 16, 2000, Pan American Airways debuted at MidAmerica airport. Pan American Airways (Pan Am) offered non-stop service between Orlando Sanford and St. Louis. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, airline travel dropped significantly across the United States. This drop-off in air travel ultimately affected Pan American Airways service at the fledgling airport. Pan American Airways ceased operations at the airport December 3, 2001.
- Great Plains Airlines filed for bankruptcy in January 2004 and ultimately ceased all operations.
- TransMeridian Airlines began service at Mid-America on November 21, 2004. The Atlanta-based airline filed for bankruptcy on September 29, 2005, then ceased service to all destinations – including MidAmerica.
- Allegiant Air started service from the St. Clair County-owned airport on April 29, 2005. Allegiant Air offered flights to both McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Orlando Sanford International Airport until January 3, 2009. However, Allegiant Air resumed operations with twice-weekly direct flights between MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and Orlando/Sanford beginning on November 7, 2012. Since that time, direct flights were added to Fort Lauderdale (FL), Destin / Fort Walton Beach (FL), Jacksonville (FL), Las Vegas (NV), Myrtle Beach (SC), Orlando / Sanford (FL), Phoenix/Mesa (AZ), Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater (FL) and Sarasota (FL). Allegiant operates Airbus A319 and A320 jetliners.
From the onset, the passenger terminal was planned as an expandable facility that would provide passenger accommodations for the initial opening of MidAmerica Airport and allow for easy expansion if needed. The passenger terminal is located in a 250-foot-wide by 700-foot-long terminal building expansion envelope, bounded by a runway and parking lot. The initial build-out provides two upper level departure gates (both have jet bridges) with additional ground-level gates to serve smaller commuter aircraft.
Airlines and destinations
|Allegiant Air|| Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota, St. Petersburg/Clearwater|
Seasonal: Charleston (SC) (begins May 28, 2021), Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Phoenix/Mesa, Savannah
Between late 2009 and August 2010, one air cargo company, LAN Cargo, used the airport to import flowers from Bogota, Colombia, totaling one flight each week until the county abruptly ended the flights.
Both Boeing Defense, Space & Security and North Bay Produce currently have facilities on site. North Bay Produce primarily ships blueberries from Michigan and Chile into the airport and using a completely refrigerated warehouse for packaging and distribution. Boeing uses the facility at MidAmerica for sub-assemblies for multiple military aircraft.
Boeing and North Bay have recently constructed additions to their facilities at MidAmerica Airport.
- Dual Category II Instrument Landing Systems
- Simultaneous instrument approaches
- Runway 14L/32R, 10,000 feet
- Runway 14R/32L, 8,010 feet
- Unconstrained Air Traffic Control and air space environment
- Immediate Interstate access via I-64, I-44, I-55 and I-70
- Air cargo facility development sites ranging from 10 to 200+ acres
- An initial air cargo ramp of 258,000 square feet or 5.9 acres
- An air cargo terminal site adjacent to the ramp
- Air rescue and fire Index C facility, capable of adjustment, as operational requirements dictate
- New state-of-the-art control tower, 24-hours daily, seven days a week
- New fuel farm
- Aircraft handling services
- Foreign Trade Zone
- Enterprise Zone
- Runway 14L/32R: 10,000 by 150 feet (3,048 x 46 m), Surface: Concrete, ILS equipped.
- Runway 14R/32L: 8,010 by 150 feet (2,441 x 46 m), Surface: Asphalt/Concrete, ILS equipped.
MidAmerica's construction included the creation of the 10,000-foot (3,000 m) 14L/32R (east) runway, adding 1,000 feet (300 m) to the existing west runway, adding passenger and cargo terminals on the east side of the facility, and building a 7,000-foot (2,100 m) taxiway connecting the two runways. A new air traffic control tower staffed by Air Force personnel was also constructed midway between the two runways.
Maintenance and operations
The civil operations are administered by St. Clair County, Illinois, which also pays the maintenance costs for the east runway. Over half of all air operations at the facility utilize the eastern runway.
USDOT's most current data indicates 308,000 passengers used BLV between January 2018 and December 2018 and the airport was ranked 204th in the United States. USDOT's Calendar Year 2016 data indicated 80,000 enplanements (157,000 total passengers), nearly triple the 2015 total. FAA's Calendar Year 2015 data indicated 32,589 enplanements (63,000 total passengers), nearly double the 2014 total. In calendar year 2014, the airport was ranked 363 in the United States with 16,328 passenger enplanements. This was a 20.57% increase over 2013. In calendar year 2013, the dual-use facility was ranked 373 in the United States with 13,542 passenger enplanements. This placed it ninth in the state of Illinois. By comparison, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was ranked 31 in the United States with over 6.21 million enplanements.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010, the airport had 21,508 aircraft operations, an average of 58 per day: 66% military, 34% general aviation, and <1% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 35 military aircraft based at this airport.
|1||Destin, FL: VPS||41,600||Allegiant|
|2||St. Petersburg, FL: PIE||27,360||Allegiant|
|3||Punta Gorda, FL: PGD||25,340||Allegiant|
|4||Sanford, FL: SFB||23,340||Allegiant|
|5||Jacksonville, FL: JAX||9,190||Allegiant|
|6||Las Vegas, NV: LAS||7,650||Allegiant|
|7||Fort Lauderdale, FL: FLL||7,000||Allegiant|
|8||Mesa, AZ: AZA||6,260||Allegiant|
|9||Myrtle Beach, SC: MYR||3,380||Allegiant|
|10||Sarasota, FL: SRQ||3,160||Allegiant|
Total Passengers (BLV)
|Year||Total Passengers||% Change|
|2020||195,431||26.18% Thru October|
Shiloh-Scott St. Louis MetroLink rail station links Scott Air Force Base with direct trains to downtown St. Louis on MetroLink's Red Line. One-ride and all-day tickets can be purchased from vending machines on the platforms. MetroLink lines provide direct or indirect service to St. Louis, the Clayton area, and Illinois suburbs in St. Clair County. The line does not go all the way to the airport; one must either ride a bus or find other transportation in order to reach the station.
Funding was approved to extend Metrolink to MidAmerica Airport in 2019.
In late April 2019, the first MQ-25 Stingray test aircraft (T-1 or "Tail 1") was taken by road from Boeing's technical plant at St. Louis's Lambert International Airport across the Mississippi River to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, which is conjoined to Scott Air Force Base. Test flying was expected to commence at MidAmerica late in 2019, after taxi tests and the Federal Aviation Administration’s certifying the aircraft and granting airspace for flight testing. The First test flight occurred on September 19, 2019.
- PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective April 5, 2012.
- "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports". faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. December 20, 2019.
- "2017–2021 NPIAS Report". faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. September 30, 2016.
- Tom Brokaw. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport was featured several times on a "Fleecing of America" segment on the NBC evening news.January 5, 1998. May 27, 1999. August 16, 2000.
- Marson, Barrett (January 5, 1998). "NBC 'Fleecing' Telecast Snipes At MidAmerica Airport". Belleville News-Democrat. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
- Imbs, Christine (March 2006). "Gateway to the World". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 27, 2006. Retrieved March 4, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 31, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Bustos, Joseph (November 29, 2016). "Allegiant Air to increase flights from MidAmerica this summer". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- Landis, Kelsey (May 22, 2018). "MidAmerica Named Best Airport in the State by IDOT". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- http://www.bnd.com/2012/02/22/2068650/business-has-failed-to-take-off.html#storylink=misearch[permanent dead link]
- "TransMeridian Airlines to Finish Year at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport". Belleville News Democrat, Distributed by the Associated Press. April 6, 2005.
- "Pan Am Will Stop Flying To MidAmerica". St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO). November 2, 2001. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015.
- "Final airline departing MidAmerica airport". UPI.com. November 17, 2008.
- "Allegiant Announces Largest Service Expansion In Company History With 3 New Cities And 44 Nonstop Routes". Allegiant Airlines.
- "Flight Information". Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- Louis, St. (October 3, 2011). "MidAmerica Airport's flower flights cost taxpayers millions".
- NBC Nightly News, January 12, 2009
- Lippmann;Proud, Rachel;Kelsey (February 7, 2011). "Boeing starts production at new Mascoutah, Ill. facility".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Dittman, Megan (June 15, 2012). "North Bay Produce Comes to MidAmerica Airport". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- Grandone, Jim (February 2000). "Emerging Roles of Scott Air Force Base & MidAmerica". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
- "Enplanements at All Commercial Service Airports, 2014". Federal Aviation Administration. September 22, 2015.
- "Commercial Service Airports CY2013 Enplanements" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.[permanent dead link]
- Schlinkmann, Mark. "Illinois to pay for long-sought MetroLink extension to MidAmerica Airport". stltoday.com. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- Boeing's MQ-25 refueling drone moved to air base for flight testing, Allen Cone, SpaceDaily.com, May 1, 2019
- "Boeing: MQ-25 Completes First Test Flight". www.boeing.com. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, official site
- Aerial image as of April 1998 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective January 28, 2021
- FAA Terminal Procedures for BLV, effective January 28, 2021
- Resources for this airport: