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St. Clair County panel approves fire, security services at MidAmerica Airport

The St. Clair County Public Building Commission has approved the selection of Avports, LLC, to provide aircraft rescue and firefighting, airport operations and security services for MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah.

The approved five-year contract for the work – collectively referred to as ARFF services – totals just under $1.1 million per year. Virginia-based Avports was selected out of a group of four bidders who were vying for the contract, including the incumbent, Pro-Tec Fire Service, Ltd., of Wisconsin, which had held the contract since the airport opened.

Avports’ depth of experience was a key in considerations. The experience was gained through the provision of management services for 30 other U.S. Airports, and its current relationships with nine U.S. airports where they provide services similar to those being sought by MidAmerica. Also cited was the strength, stability and diversity of its workforce totaling more than 650 experienced airport staff,.

“MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is going through a period of exceptional growth in our passenger traffic and also welcoming dramatic expansions by long-term tenants such as Boeing,” said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. “That growth dictates that we must provide a new and enhanced level of security and operations services from a team that we believe can be a valuable partner for us today and into the future.”

Avports will specifically be responsible for providing the staffing resources to cover emergency response, airport operation area inspections and fire inspections at the airport, in addition to aircraft rescue and firefighting, airport operations and security services, all of which are required by the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and the state.

“Avports is excited to work with our new partners at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport next year and continue to expand our reach in the Midwest,” said Jorge Roberts, CEO of Avports. “Avports has led the way in airport operations for 94 years. We look forward to ensuring the safest possible air travel and highest level of service for the St. Louis area.”

Avports will begin providing services on June 1, 2022, coming to the airport at a pivotal time in its growth. The new $200 million Boeing facility being built at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is on target for completion in 2024, at which time the global aerospace company will add at least 150 more employees at that location.

The $96 million MetroLink light rail extension from Scott Air Force Base to MidAmerica Airport is expected to open in 2024. A total of $22.5 million has been secured toward the $34 million terminal expansion project at MidAmerica Airport and construction is well underway on the second and most significant phase. The remaining cost will be covered by additional FAA and state dollars.

Meanwhile, the airport expects to set a new all-time high passenger-enplanement record for 2021 as an estimated 160,000 passengers take advantage of the affordable, convenient opportunities to travel to one of twelve destinations currently served by Allegiant from MidAmerica.

“It’s an exciting time for MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and our commitment to providing the highest levels of safety and security has never been greater,” said Bryan Johnson, director of MidAmerica Airport. “From their outstanding track record developed over more than nine decades in the industry to the development of their proprietary “Safe Hands” program detailing their procedures in response to COVID‐19, we have every confidence that we will be in good hands with the team at Avports.”

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