MASCOUTAH — With mid-April marking the official start of Allegiant’s busy summer flight schedule, MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is preparing for a ramp up in activity that comes on the heels of a year of dramatic growth for the airport.
The airport closed out 2017 ranked as the sixth busiest airport in the State of Illinois, with 124,000 enplanements and a total of 245,000 passengers taking advantage of Allegiant flights to several destinations. That represents an increase of more than 56 percent over the 158,000 passengers that flew through MidAmerica in calendar year 2016 and illustrates continued growth since 2015, when the annual passenger count was just 63,000.
The growth has been fueled by the addition of more destinations and more flights as Allegiant has expanded its presence at MidAmerica Airport, where it now offers service to nine destinations. Direct flights now depart regularly for Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Las Vegas; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Orlando/Sanford, Fla.; and Tampa/St. Pete, Fla. and Phoenix / Mesa, Ariz.
Starting May 23 and continuing through Aug. 9, the flights to Destin/Fort Walton will be offered daily, becoming the first destination with daily, non-stop service from MidAmerica.
“We’re extremely proud not only to be one of the busiest airports in the state, but also to offer such a convenient alternative to help people get out of town easily and without the hassle often encountered at larger airports,” said St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern. “Among the advantages of flying out of MidAmerica are handy parking right in front of the terminal, short lines for check-in and security, and easy access to the departure gates. It’s proving to be a winning combination.”
While historically parking has been completely free at MidAmerica, the continuing increase in passenger volume necessitated the expansion of the airport’s existing parking lot and the subsequent transition to a new, yet still affordable, paid parking structure that goes into effect April 2. The addition of paid parking will help defray the maintenance costs associated with maintaining the parking lots and provide funding for needed airport improvements. Parking will cost travelers just $5 per day, one of the lowest rates in region, and all spots are just steps from the terminal.
The growth at MidAmerica isn’t just measured in terms of passengers, but also in departing flights. Current Bureau of Transportation Statistics show BLV climbed in the nationwide rankings for departures from 241 in 2016, to 207 among 809 U.S. airports in 2017.
“It’s an exciting time here at the airport as we continue to grow and welcome more passengers who are choosing to fly from this great location to some of the most popular destinations in the country,” said Tim Cantwell, director of MidAmerica Airport. “The full parking lots, busy terminal and planes filled with happy passengers are all evidence that things are taking off here at MidAmerica, and we fully expect the growth trend to continue.”
For more details or flight information, visit www.flymidamerica.com or www.allegiant.com.