Flight Blog

May 06 2009 New Terminal Open BY adminTAGS Midfield Terminal


The midfield terminal opened for business this morning. So far, we've had only minor clitches: the ticket spitters in the parking lots (those machines that give you parking stubs) didn't have stubs in them at 4:00 this morning, and the United ticket counter didn't have a sign on it.


By six this morning about 50 stray travelers had shown up at the old terminal looking for their plane. Airport police gave them directions and a map to the new terminal.


This morning's fog delayed some early departures, but that's par for the course this time of year. More later.

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Apr 16 2009 The Good News, The Bad... BY adminTAGS Northwest


Let’s start with good news, then move on to the bad…


After six consecutive months of double digit passenger declines, we’re relieved to report that March passengers numbers were down only one percent. This improvement brought our yearly decline from minus 14 percent, to minus nine percent.


Why the improvement? I’d like to say it’s the result of an improving economic situation—but I’m not going to be that bold. It has much more to do with Allegiant Airlines and its seasonal addition of more flights. In March, Allegiant numbers were up 55 percent over the same month last year! March numbers for the other airlines were all in negative numbers. Delta led the pack: down 24 percent for the month.


The declining passenger numbers do have a bright side: in an attempt to sell more seats, the airlines are cutting the price of fares…and not just fares between major hubs, or hubs and foreign capitals. Example: American is now offering some seats between here and Dallas for $200 or less. A couple of days ago I talked to a Springfield chamber member who tracked down roundtrip fare between here and Dallas for $150. That includes taxes and fees. So good news for customers, but I dare say bad news for the airlines. Today American reported a first quarter loss of $375 million.


And now some bad news... We found out on Monday that we’re losing Delta service to Detroit, effective May 1. Delta planners tell me that they had planned to continue the service, but last minute schedule changes effectively left our market without a plane to service the route. The planners say, “they might bring the service back, but we can’t give you a time frame.”


It’s probably not a stretch to say this is further fallout from the merger of Delta and Northwest (the Detroit service was on Northwest). On the other hand, we’ve known for some time that this service was on the bubble. There was just one arrival and departure every day; very early in the morning and very late at night. And the high cost of fare didn't help either.


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Apr 16 2009 Cocktails BY adminTAGS Midfield Terminal


Randy cuts to the chase:


"Where’s the booze? Will there be alcohol available in the new terminal????"


The bar will be in the gate area, on the secure side of the screening checkpoint!!!!

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Apr 15 2009 Tardy Blogger! BY adminTAGS Midfield Terminal


Well, first of all, I have to apologize for taking so long to respond to the last few questions asked by you faithful bloggers. I've been tardy! Only one excuse: busy, busy, busy with the impending opening of the new terminal. You know that part of job descriptions that says, "other duties as assigned?" Well Brothers and Sisters, let me tell ya, I know what that means!


Colton blogged with this: "Hello. I am just wondering, I know Allegiant Air will be providing nonstop service to LA, but will there be any other airlines with new destinations when the new Midfield terminal opens? I am wondering because I thought that Continental used to go through SGF. There also used to be nonstop service to Kansas City. What happened to all that? I am just curious. Thanks."


We have no impending new service announcements. Hey! Isn't LA good enough?!  ; )


As for service to Kansas City... It has been tried several times over the years. But it's never generated enough customers for the airlines to find it worthwhile over the long haul.


Dustin wants to know:


"I was wondering if the taxiways were completed. They look incomplete especially the corners. Will there be a parallel taxiway to rwy 14-32? The rest of the terminal looks beautiful."


Yes, the taxiways are complete. And yes, there will be a new parallel taxiway for runway 14/32. Construction will begin soon using federal stimulus money.


Derrick W. sends in this:


"Here's what I am curious about. When the new terminal opens, that will leave the old terminal vacant. I heard a while ago that OTC was in talks about it, but that story never panned out. So here is what im thinking. If Allegiant keeps growing, with our location, we could be a midwest hub for them. Now pretending that did happen, would opening the old terminal back up and just having one airline there be feasible. could even connect the two terminals with a train. I know this is unlikely to happen, however since alot of bigger airports are set up this way, I wanted to get your opinion on the situation. Thank you."


I like the way you think Derrick! However, I don't think that scenario is likely to pan out––especially in the current economy.


Belden in Houston, Texas is curious:


"I understand international flights from Springfield, MO. are not something in the works right now. However what about direct flights from Springfield to Houston, Texas? Is that something that is being looked into?"


It's been talked about, but an airline has never been convinced that a Springfield-Houston route is a money maker.

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Mar 26 2009 USO Facilities? BY adminTAGS How the Airport Works


A letter to the editor in a Springfield paper wants to know:


"With all the news coverage of the new airport in Branson opening as well as the new flights added to the Springfield/Branson Airport, I've not heard anyone mention about a proper USO being placed in either airport...is this a gross oversight?"


No, it's not an oversight.  Different groups have investigated the possibility and then decided not to purse it. We've always told the organizing groups that we would help in any way we can. The reasons they've decided not to set up a USO boil down to this:


  1. Passengers don't spend a lot of time in our terminal. In other words, we are not a hub airport where customers spend several hours waiting to make connections. Generally speaking, outbound passengers spend less than an hour here. Inbound passengers spend even less—as soon as their baggage hits the carousel, they're out of here! And most soldiers don't even have a checked bag to wait for.
  2. The number of soldiers using our airport is pretty small. On any given day, you're not even likely to see a member of the armed forces in the terminal. When you do, it's usually just one or two.

What's cool is to see the occasional welcoming party. Family and friends start to show up about half-an-hour before the soldier arrives. There are usually lots of kids, balloons and banners. They congregate outside the security check point and wait for their hero to arrive. It's one of those moments that you want to save and cherish.

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