Flight Blog

Sep 14 2010 An Earful from Wilbur Flywright, CEO BY sgf-adminTAGS Fares


Imagine a conversation between an airline customer (complaining about fares and fees) and an airline CEO. Here's what the CEO would like to say...

"OK. Let's get real here. Just in case you were in a coma for the last 25 years, airlines have done nothing but lose money. In fact, since its beginnings the U.S. airline industry hasn't made a dime. Quite the contrary, it has lost billions upon billions. And why? Because of you....."

Read the rest of this imaginary conversation in USA Today.


Aug 27 2010 Fortress BY sgf-adminTAGS History


For the past few days the airport has hosted one of history's most famous airplanes: a B17 Flying Fortress. The Liberty Bell is one of only a handful of B17s that still fly. This Saturday, August 28, the Liberty Bell is open for tours at the airport's General Aviation Complex. More information is available from the Liberty Foundation.


Liberty Belle at Springfield-Branson National Airport


Art Deco design with Varga inspired emininity

Art Deco design with Varga inspired femininity



When you get up close and personal with this aircraft you realize why it was the Flying Fortress: four .50 caliber machine guns protrude from the nose. The plane has a total of 13 machine guns, each capable of firing 13 rounds per second.

When you get up close and personal with this aircraft you realize why it was the Flying Fortress: four .50 caliber machine guns protrude from the nose. The plane has a total of 13 machine guns, each capable of firing 13 rounds per second.


Aerodynamic beauty.

Aerodynamic beauty


.50 waist gun

.50 caliber waist gun


Seen from the rear

Seen from the rear


Aug 20 2010 New Feature in Terminal Lobby BY sgf-adminTAGS Customer Service


This week we unveiled a new customer service feature in the terminal lobby. It's a 40-inch video monitor that displays three different data feeds:

  1. Flightview map. A live, visual display of Springfield's incoming and outgoing flights. Similar to our web version, but more spiffy.
  2. Animated radar loop of weather in the lower 48.
  3. Map showing major airport delays in the lower 48.



Aug 05 2010 Jobs Landing at SGF BY sgf-adminTAGS How the Airport Works


The cat is out of the bag.  This morning Expedia announced it's bringing up to 500 new jobs to Springfield and they'll be working at the old airport terminal. Earlier this year the Airport and Expedia announced that the company would lease about 59,000 square feet of the building, but job details were left for today. Most of the jobs will be customer service and accounting related. If you're interested in applying visit this Expedia web site.

Leasing the old terminal is important to the airport because it generates a revenue stream that is not related to aviation. This is especially important in today’s uncertain economy because the aviation industry is extremely volatile. Non-aviation related revenue helps make up the difference when airline revenue is down. In the big scheme of things, non-aviation related revenue can make it easier for the Airport to keep operating costs down for the airlines.

The Expedia lease is initially for five years, with the option of five, 3-year extensions. The total annual lease amount: $450,760.00.


Jul 26 2010 Airport Master Plan BY sgf-adminTAGS Master Plan


July marked the beginning of a project to update the airport's master plan. What is a master plan?

It's a planning document that looks into the future and tries to predict what will happen at the airport—how many passengers will use the airport ten years from now? In 20 years? What kind of infrastructure improvements will the airport need to make and when? It really boils down to three main questions: 1) what infrastructure improvements will the airport need in the future? 2) When will the improvements be needed? 3) How will the improvements be paid for?

Airport master plans are written by companies that specialize in airport planning. It's their job to write an objective, fact based plan. The firm updating our master plan is Jviation. The total cost of the plan: $707,819.00. The airport pays $35,391.00 of that total, with the rest picked up by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

If that price tag makes your head spin, stand in line. But that's what it costs to bring in the specialized skills required to do airport master planning analysis. And the FAA isn't likely to help pay for future improvements unless there's a plan in place.

Airport master plans are typically reviewed and updated about every 20 years. Our airport’s first master plan was completed in 1967. It was updated in 1977 and 1993.

How is the master plan used? When you get right down to it a master plan helps you stay ahead of the curve. The airport reviews the master plan on a regular basis to see how the plan’s projections compare with reality. Hypothetical example: suppose the plan projects that an additional parking lot will be needed when the airport has one million passengers a year. As time goes on, and as passenger numbers approach one million, the airport will know, with help from the master plan, that it’s time to start building the additional parking lot.

There a couple of things that a master plan isn't. It's not a wish list for future air service There's nothing the airport can do, from an infrastructure point of view, that will entice an airline to fly from Springfield to New York City. Airline service decisions are mainly driven by the population of the metropolitan area, per capita income, demand, and airline economics.

Here's another thing a master plan isn't: it's not a wish list for airport improvements. The plan merely tells you at what point you'll need to make improvements.

During the next 18 months we'll be talking a lot about the master plan...stay tuned.