News & Events

September 16, 2014:
Airport Aces Safety Inspection 10th Year in a Row
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For the tenth year in a row the Springfield airport has received a discrepancy free safety inspection from the Federal Aviation Administration. On Monday the FAA recognized the airport by awarding it the “Airport Safety Enhancement Award.”

 

The award goes to airports which receive discrepancy free safety inspections three years in a row. Getting one discrepancy free inspection is a great accomplishment for any airport. Doing it ten years in a row is a rare achievement.

 

"Every airport employee is, in some way, responsible for the safety of our customers," says Shawn Schroeder, airport director of operations.  "Having their hard work validated by the FAA is much deserved."

 

The annual FAA safety inspection is a demanding review of everything at the airport that affects aircraft safety.

 

FAA inspectors review a long list. It includes runway pavement condition, airfield marking and lighting, the readiness of the airport fire department, snow and ice removal, fencing, the height of grass, and wildlife control.

 

Wildlife was a hot topic with the public five years ago after a flock of Canada geese brought down a US Airways flight after take-off from New York City (the plane landed in the Hudson River with no loss of life). But airports have talked about wildlife for years — as in, "how do we control it?"

 

The airport must show FAA inspectors that it knows what wildlife is on the airport, and that it has a plan to deal with it.

 

“Runway inspections are one way we track wildlife,” says Troy Morehouse, airfield maintenance worker. "You look for any remains of an animal hit by an aircraft. We collect it and record where it was found on the runway.” Even small birds get attention. “Smaller birds can be very dense. So when a plane hits them it’s almost the equivalent of getting hit by a baseball.”

 

Dealing with wildlife is just part of the airport's role in keeping planes safe.

 

When an aircraft is on the ground it depends on airport lights, signs and paint to figure out where to go in a safe manner. The Springfield airport has about 1400 lights along the edges of the runways and taxiways. Add to that several hundred signs, along with miles and miles of painted lines. If you could put all the paint in a six inch line it would be 40 miles long. And all of it — lights, signs, paint — has to be nearly perfect.

 

After so many years of acing the inspection is there any way to make things even better? Morehouse says there is ...

 

"We all try to better ourselves every day and improve on what we've done. That may sound kind of crazy — we've done so well the past 10 years — I mean what is there left to improve on? There's always something to improve on."

June 12, 2014:
May Passenger Numbers Up 15%
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Passenger numbers at the Springfield Airport are up — way up.

 

In May the total number of passengers using the airport was up 15 percent. That’s the best monthly increase since before the Great Recession.

 

For the first five months of the year the number of passengers using the airport was up 11.7 percent —   it’s only the second time since the turn of the century that Springfield has seen a double digit increase during the five month period. The first time was in 2005 when Allegiant and Delta started Springfield service.

 

The increase in passengers is a classic sign of an improving local economy. The airlines see this demand and they’re responding by bringing more seats to the market. Take a look at the numbers:

 

TOTAL AVAILABLE SEATS IN SPRINGFIELD - MAY 2014

 

  • Allegiant Air + 35.9%
  • American Airlines + 11.1%
  • Delta Air Lines + 3%
  • United Airlines + 3.6%

There are two ways for an airline to bring more seats to Springfield. They can bring more flights — those are up nearly 5 percent for the year — or they can bring bigger airplanes. Allegiant has started occasional use of Boeing 757s in Springfield. Delta begins Boeing 717 service here on September 2.

 
717s will serve Delta’s Springfield-Atlanta route. The airline currently has five daily Atlanta flights on 50-seat regional jets. In September a 717 will serve one of those flights. That means four flights a day on 50-seat planes, and one on a 717, which has 110 seats.
 
The addition of a 717 adds more seats per day to Atlanta. That’s important because the 50-seaters are frequently sold-out. More seats per day means fewer customers turned away.
 
Bigger planes are definitely in Springfield’s future — not just due to local demand but because airlines are starting to phase out 50-seat jets; they’re expensive to maintain and they’re not fuel efficient.
 

PERCENT CHANGE TOTAL PASSENGER

NUMBERS JAN - MAY 2014

 

  • January + 9.2%
  • February + 13.1%
  • March + 9.8%
  • April + 11.4%
  • May + 15%
TOTAL PASSENGERS COMPARISON
 
  • May 2013: 65,611 total passengers
  • May 2014: 75,452 total passengers
  • Jan - May 2013: 292,967 total passengers
  • Jan - May 2014: 327,355 total passengers

 

SCHEDULED AIRLINE FLIGHTS

 

  • Jan - May 2013: 3,105
  • Jan - May 2014: 3,253

 

April 17, 2014:
Public Invited to 5th Annual State of the Airport Presentation
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This Thursday, April 24, the airport will present the fifth annual State of the Airport presentation at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

Airport Director Brian Weiler will discuss the airport’s role in the regional economy, as well as how today’s airline industry is radically different than it was before the recession and what that means for southwest Missouri.

 

The presentation will also cover the airport’s General Aviation expansion project, which will not only provide hangar-ready lots for corporately owned airplanes, but will also serve as a new front door to the Springfield region for inbound corporate decision makers.

 

Please join us:

 

When: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 3:30 pm

 

Where: Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, 202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway, Springfield, Missouri

 

The Chamber requests that those planning to attend RSVP by contacting the Chamber at 417.862.5567.

 

 

March 20, 2014:
Airport Ready to Begin General Aviation Expansion
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The Springfield airport will soon begin a redevelopment project that could help bring new businesses to the metro area. The airport’s governing board cleared the way for the project this morning by awarding the construction contract to general contractor Hartman and Company, Inc. Work should begin in mid-April.

 

The project will redevelop and expand the airport’s general aviation complex by making 12 acres of airport property ready for new airplane hangars. The general aviation complex (GA for short) is that part of the airport which caters to business/corporate aircraft.

 

“The airport has had a shortage of GA hangar space for some time,” says Brian Weiler, airport director. “This work will make ground ready for eight new hangars by making water, gas, sewer, and electric service available, along with direct access to the airports taxiways.”

 

Once redevelopment work is done plane owners can lease hangar ready lots from the airport and then build the hangars.

 

Redevelopment funding comes courtesy of a $5 million aviation grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation. The airport will provide $565,563, making the total cost of the project approximately $5.6 million.

 

From the public’s perspective general aviation is generally out of sight and mind — commercial airline service tends to get the public’s attention. But GA flying is just as vital to the region’s economy.

 

“As Springfield’s economy continues to grow, and new businesses move here, we need to insure we have development ready hangar sites for them,” says Brent Singleton, chairman of the airport’s board of directors. “The last thing we want to tell a CEO, who wants to bring jobs to Springfield, is that we don’t have a spot for their corporate aircraft.”

 

Local economic development officials agree.

 

“Just as the airlines connect our community to the outside world, general aviation is oftentimes the front door for potential investors, business decision makers and corporate executives arriving in our region,” says Gary Powell, board president of the Springfield Business Development Corporation. “Having adequate GA facilities is something business prospects often look for.”

 

“In the past five years we’ve rebuilt much of the airport,” says Weiler. Recent improvements include a new passenger terminal for the commercial airlines, taxiway and runway improvements, along with a new fire station. “Now it’s time to turn our attention to the general aviation side of the airport. Not only will this project help address the GA hangar shortage; it will also clean up the aesthetics of the GA area, presenting a more polished, professional image for the GA community.”

 

GA activity at the airport is expected to increase about two percent a year for the next twenty years.

 

PROJECT DETAILS

 

Funding

 

  • Total cost: $5,655,623.00
  • $5,090,060 of total cost is provided by a MoDOT grant from the State Aviation Trust Fund. Grant money does not come from the Missouri general fund or from MoDOT highway funding — it comes from the State Aviation Trust Fund which is funded solely by the state sales tax on aviation fuels.
  • $565,563 of total cost is provided by the airport.
  • Total value of contract awarded to Hartman Construction: $5,162,138.58.

Redevelopment Area

 

The redevelopment area is just north of the former airline terminal complex. It is currently the site of the old airport fire station and the employee parking lot for the former airline terminal. That building is now home to Expedia.

 

General Aviation Facts

 

  • The airport currently has 27 GA hangars. Collectively they can house approximately 110 aircraft
  • 109 GA aircraft are currently based at the airport.

Redevelopment Phases

 

The GA redevelopment project is divided into two phases. The first phase, which is being paid for by the MoDOT grant, will make land ready for eight hangars. If there’s enough hanger demand a second phase will make way for six more hangars. Funding for the second phase has not been secured.

January 29, 2014:
“Perspective: Three Artists” opens at the Sky Gallery
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The Springfield Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and the Springfield-Branson National Airport are proud to present “Perspective: Three Artists” on display at the Sky Gallery now through Sunday, March 16, 2014. The exhibit features the work of local SRAC Artist Members Elizabeth Chapman, Penny Gordon-Chumbley, and Alan O’Neal.

 

The Sky Gallery, a collaboration between the SRAC and the Springfield-Branson National Airport, is free and open to the public 24 hours a day. Located in the airport’s main terminal, its core exhibition space is the ArtPort, a freestanding installation space designed and built by Drury University architecture students. A portion of all Sky Gallery sales benefits the SRAC. Visitors may park free for up to 30 minutes in the short-term parking lots.

 

For more information, contact Stephanie Cramer, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, by phone at 417-862-2787(ARTS) or by e-mail at Stephanie at SpringfieldArts.org. You may also log on to www.SpringfieldArts.org.

November 26, 2013:
Holiday Flying Tips from the Springfield Airport
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Holiday fliers have a new way to find their way around the Springfield airport terminal: Google Maps.  The website recently made a detailed floor plan available when computer users zoom in on the building. It’s a useful tool for anyone, but it’s especially good for infrequent fliers. And during the holiday travel period airports are full of infrequent fliers.

 

The floor plan is visible on smart phones, and other mobile devices, as long as the satellite view is turned off. It’s also visible on desktop computer web browsers, as long as Google Maps is in the classic configuration, with the satellite view turned off.

 

Finding one’s way around the airport is just one of the challenges facing infrequent fliers. Here are additional tips to make sure holiday flying goes smoothly:

 

  • Get to the airport early — at least an hour-and-a-half before your flight is scheduled to leave. That’s generally plenty of time to get checked in, through security, and to the gate.
  • Check-in to your flight before you get to the airport. All Springfield airlines allow check-in on their websites, and on mobile phone apps. During the online check-in process you can print boarding passes. Checking-in this way saves time because you don’t have to stand in line at the ticket counter.
  • Don't over-pack. Take only what you absolutely need –– an overstuffed bag can slow down the security screening process. Carry-on items can be no bigger than 9" X 14" X 22" or a total of 45 linear inches.
  • For carry-on bags: liquids, aerosols and gels, are allowed in limited quantities: no more than 3.4 ounces of any one product. All products must fit into one (1) quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag.
  • Make sure all your bags have ID tags. Be sure your bags have tags on both the outside and inside.
  • Before you get to the security screening line make sure: you have a government issued photo ID if you’re 18 or older. Make sure the name on your ticket matches the name on your photo ID.
  • Don’t wrap presents. Security screeners may unwrap them for inspection.

In past years the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) required all passengers to take off shoes, jackets, sweaters, and hats. That changed several weeks ago when TSA introduced the “expedited screening” process at Springfield. It allows predetermined low risk passengers to keep those items on.

 

Don’t be alarmed if you’re picked for expedited screening. It’s a random process that means you get to go through screening with less hassle,while others go through the usual drill. If you’re selected for expedited screening, look at as a holiday gift, and a great way to start a trip!
 

November 19, 2013:
The Springfield Airport: An Economic Engine for the Region
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The annual total economic output of the Springfield airport is $402,017,000. Put another way, the airport’s economic clout accounts for 2.48% of the Springfield metro’s total economic output. *

 

“I knew the airport had a big impact on the area, but the numbers surprised me — I suspect it will surprise a lot of people,” says Brian Weiler, Springfield’s airport director. “We’re sort of hidden in the northwest part of the city, out of sight and out of mind.”

 

The economic numbers are part of a study released this week by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). The Missouri Statewide Airports Economic Impact Study concludes that Missouri’s 108 airports generated $11.1 billion in economic output in 2012. That’s 4.3% of the state’s $258 billion gross state product in 2012.

 

“In addition to airports’ status as a substantial job and payroll contributor, we found communities large and small rely on Missouri airports to spur economic growth and increase access to regional and worldwide markets,” says MoDOT Director Dave Nichols.

 

The Springfield airport’s total economic output numbers are impressive by themselves: 4,454 total jobs, with a payroll of $154,280,000. Total economic output: $402,017,000 (see table below for Missouri’s top five economic generating airports and MoDOT’s explanation).

 

“The Springfield airport is, in a very real sense, an economic hub,” says Weiler. “The list of companies doing business here is long. It includes airlines, restaurants, gift stores, air cargo companies, corporations that own their own planes, plus city and federal employees.”

 

The biggest economic generators at the airport are the online travel company Expedia, and the Missouri National Guard’s aviation repair depot. The Guard employs approximately 358 people at the airport. Expedia has nearly 1000 employees at its airport offices located in the retired airport terminal building.

 

Besides being an economic power house, the Springfield airport provides the region with access to the world economy. In the last five years the number of international round trips at the airport has increased 25%.

 

The airport’s marketing manager, Kent Boyd, says the importance of international air traffic is impossible to overstate. “We no longer live in a world dominated by North America’s economy. U. S. domestic air travel, as a percentage of world air travel, is rapidly declining. For the Springfield area to be a player in the world economy, it must have easy access to international destinations — particularly to Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe.”

 

The Springfield airport has access to all of those regions with just one connecting flight.

 

“Suppose a Chinese business man in Beijing needs to fly to Springfield to investigate a potential plant site,” says Boyd. “All he has to do is catch a United or American Airlines flight from Beijing to Chicago. From Chicago he flies straight to Springfield. That’s the kind of access a community has to have to prosper in today’s world economy. It’s an incredibly valuable resource that we can’t even begin to put a value on.”

 

When viewed from this perspective, the airport is invaluable —especially considering that it’s self-supporting. It operates without local or state tax revenues. The airport’s budget is funded by user fees, and money generated from leases and contracts with companies that do business at the airport.

 


 

* The annual economic impact of the Springfield metro, or annual Gross Metro Product (GMP), was $16.2 billion in 2012. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. GMP is defined as the value of all goods and services produced in a metropolitan area. The Springfield metro is defined as Greene, Polk, Webster, Christian, and Dallas counties.

 

Top Five Missouri Airports Measured by Economic Impact

 

AIRPORT

TOTAL JOBS

TOTAL PAYROLL

TOTAL OUTPUT (IMPACT)

 

 

 

 

  1. Kansas City International

60,786

$1,550,032,000

$5,869,520,000

 

 

 

 

  1. St. Louis-Lambert   International

24,925

$1,034,888,000

$3,716,005,000

 

 

 

 

  1. Springfield National

4,454

$154,280,000

$402,017,000

 

 

 

 

  1. St. Louis-Spirit of St. Louis

3,040

$107,552,000

$354,950,000

 

 

 

 

  1. St. Joseph

1,487

$92,284,000

$162,318,000

Source: MoDOT. Total numbers reflect both direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts. MoDOT defines direct economic output as the output “based on the employment, wages, and sales generated by on-airport business activity.”

 

Indirect economic impacts “arise from visitors arriving by aircraft and spending their money on food, hotels, entertainment, transportation, and other activities. These expenditures support additional jobs, wages, and output.”

 

Induced economic impact is “created through the “spin-off” effect of users purchasing goods and services from other local businesses and through workers spending wages and other income for household goods and services. For example, when an airport employee is paid, they user their salary to purchase local goods and services at businesses in the area, which in turn spend their revenue locally, thus generating additional economic activity in the region.”

 

October 31, 2013:
Halloween Flamingo Party Kicks Off New Service at Springfield Airport
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Allegiant begins new seasonal air service between Springfield and Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda,
Florida this Thursday evening.

 

The new flights will operate twice weekly on Thursday and Sunday evenings. The flight times make for a great weekend getaway.

 

“We are pleased to add the beaches of Southwest Florida as another affordable, convenient destination option for Springfield area residents,” says Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President. “Our vacation packages and non-stop service to popular vacation destinations have been very popular with residents. We are confident the community will appreciate the convenience of flying nonstop to Punta Gorda and the value of bundling their air, hotel and car rental reservation together.”

 

Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda is Allegiant’s sixth non-stop vacation destination from Springfield. The others are Los Angeles (seasonal), Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

 

“Allegiant's addition of Ft. Myers to our roster of 10 non-stop destinations is good news for the flying public,” says Brian Weiler, director of the Springfield airport. “When Allegiant entered our market eight years ago it flew to one destination—now it flies to six. This just proves that when the price is right, customers will come. Allegiant is definitely Springfield's low-fare leader.”

 

The evening of the inaugural flight the Springfield airport will throw a tropical flamingo party complete with tropical décor and a flock of local flamingos (dozens of pink lawn flamingos are expected to attend!). All departing passengers get a bendable flamingo figure, sunscreen, plus the option of munching down on flamingo cake.

 

In case you haven’t heard about the airport’s flamingo flock, you can catch up on the airport’s facebook, on.fb.me/HduJnQ, or on its Twitter feed: bit.ly/1f1E6TD.

 

If social media isn’t your thing, try here: http://www.flyspringfield.com/trick

August 26, 2013:
SGF to Host American Watercolor Exhibit
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"Boatyard" Frank WebbThe Springfield-Branson National Airport’s Sky Gallery is honored to be one of five galleries to host the 146th Annual International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Society (AWS). The exhibit opens on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 and will remain on display through Sunday, November 3, 2013. The exhibit is free and open to the public 24 hours a day.

 

The AWS Annual International Exhibition is one of the premiere watercolor exhibits in the world. Nearly 1,100 artists from across the United States and 12 foreign countries submitted their work to a panel of jurors chosen from signature members of the AWS. Jurors selected 148 paintings for the exhibition, 40 of which were chosen to tour museums and galleries across the country during the next year. For the schedule of the Traveling Exhibition and to see images of the prize-winning entries, visit www.americanwatercolorsociety.org

 

Located within the airport, the Springfield-Branson National Airport’s Sky Gallery is a collaboration between the Springfield Regional Arts Council and the Springfield-Branson National Airport. The gallery’s core exhibition space is the ArtPort, a freestanding installation space built and designed by Drury University architecture students. In addition to the ArtPort, Sky Gallery includes two seating alcoves and large-scale two-dimensional work on the southeast and northeast lobby walls.

 

The Springfield-Branson National Airport is located at 2300 N. Airport Boulevard, Springfield, MO 65802.

 

For more information, contact Stephanie Cramer, Director of Programs and Exhibitions, by phone at 417-862-2787(ARTS) or by e-mail at stephanie at springfieldarts.org. You may also log on to www.SpringfieldArts.org.

July 30, 2013:
This Winter Get Away from It All!
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Image of Pinkley Flamingo

This winter, when it's snowy and gloomy outside, you'll have three great Florida destinations to fly to on Allegiant Air: Tampa, Orlando, and beginning October 31, Punta Gorda (which is about a snowball's throw north of Ft. Myers).

 

With this addition Allegiant now provides the Springfield airport with low fare,  non-stop service to six destinations: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Orlando, Tampa, and now, Punta Gorda.Allegiant logo

 

The new flights will operate twice weekly on a seasonal basis, beginning Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, through April 2014. Travelers can take advantage of everyday low fares and save even more when they book air, hotel, car and even activity and attraction reservations together. Flight days and times can be found at www.allegiant.com.

 

Allegiant will introduce the new service with fares as low as $89.99 one-way. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 6, 2013, for travel by Feb. 11, 2014.

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