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Airport in line for $2.3 million in federal funding

Some $2,337,313 in federal funding is coming to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah as part of the Federal Aviation Administration investment funded through the American Rescue Plan.

The money will go toward economic relief for costs associated with operations, staffing, cleaning, sanitization and combating the spread of COVID-19 at the airport.

The two Democratic U.S. senators from Illinois announced the funding in a release.

“MidAmerica Airport is an important economic engine for the Metro East, and investments in our airports are critical to keeping travelers safe and protecting local jobs,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth said. “I am proud to continue working with Senator Durbin to help ensure our aviation systems have the support necessary throughout this pandemic and beyond.”

“This federal funding will help create a safer and more efficient experience for travelers and staff at MidAmerica Airport,” Se. Dick Durbin said. “Investing in our airports is key to Illinois’ economic success, especially as communities recover from the effects of COVID-19. Senator Duckworth and I were proud to support the American Rescue Plan to bring this funding to our state.”

MidAmerica Airport Director Bryan Johnson said he appreciates the congressional delegation’s role in helping to secure the additional funding for the airport.

“We look forward to investing the dollars in additional improvements that will support the ongoing operations and maintenance of the airport while also enabling us to further enhance the passenger experience for the many travelers flying through MidAmerica,” Johnson said.

St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern called it “an exciting time for MidAmerica St. Louis,” noting the progress on the terminal expansion project and now, the ability to make further improvements.

Among least expensive airports

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport announced Tuesday it is ranked among the nation’s top five least expensive airports, according to the findings of a recent study of Bureau of Transportation statistics, conducted by FinanceBuzz.

The study compares the average airfare cost of 95 airports around the country. MidAmerica Airport placed fifth on the list of “25 least expensive regional airports.” MidAmerica boasts an average airfare cost of $120.10, which is $92.56 cheaper than the average of airports in the study and down $35.54 from last year.

“For years, MidAmerica has provided the St. Louis region with affordable flights to popular destinations and it’s a combination that continues to fuel the airport’s growth,” said St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern.

“MidAmerica St. Louis has served countless travelers from our county and beyond, who appreciate the advantages, including convenient parking just outside the terminal and a hassle-free check-in and security experience,” said Airport Director Bryan Johnson. “I’m glad to see the airport now also be recognized for its outstanding affordability.”

Johnson adds that the airport’s foot traffic is at its highest ever, up 9 percent from 2019’s record passenger total. During July 2021, the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport had a new record-breaking month for enplaned passenger boardings as 27,505 travelers flew through the airport. Additionally, the week of July 25 set a new weekly total record of 6,281 enplaned passengers. The consistent increases have helped make MidAmerica St. Louis Airport the sixth-busiest airport terminal in Illinois.

Destinations currently served by Allegiant from MidAmerica include Charleston, Daytona Beach, Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix/Mesa, Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda, Sarasota/Bradenton, Savannah, and Tampa Bay/St. Pete.

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