News & Events

July 2, 2015:
A July 4th Present to Springfield from American
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July 2, 2015

 

American Airlines begins new, non-stop service between Springfield and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport beginning November 5th. Tickets go on sale July 5.

 

This new service gives the Springfield airport 11 non-stop destinations. The average number of non-stop destinations, for cities similar to Springfield, is eight.

 

“This new service is great news for the community and region,” says Charlotte Hardin, chair of the airport’s governing board. “It gives Springfield customers access to American’s second largest hub in North America, when measured by departing seats. Access to Charlotte offers Springfield customers a world of possibilities.”

 

Right now Springfield airport customers generally fly through Chicago or Atlanta to reach Northeast destinations. The new American service to Charlotte gives customers another option. New York City, Philadelphia, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, D.C. These are just some of the cities now available to Springfield through American’s Charlotte hub.

 

American’s connecting flights from Charlotte also allow for outstanding international connectivity to many of Springfield’s top international destinations, including London, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, Dublin and Madrid. Connecting flights to the Caribbean, and Latin American destinations such as Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, and Brazil are available as well.

 

“Support from the business community and our congressional delegation helped make this new service a reality,” says Brian Weiler, airport director. “Before starting new service one of the things airlines look for is business support and interest from lawmakers. I want to thank Senator Claire McCaskill, Senator Roy Blunt, and Congressman Billy Long, along with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and its economic development arm, the Springfield Business Development Corporation (SBDC).”

 

“Today’s announcement is about progress toward becoming an even better place to do business,” says Tom Rankin, with Rankin Development and board president of the SBDC.  “With connections to Charlotte new economic opportunities open up.  We are convinced that our business community will continue to respond to these opportunities by filling nearly every plane that comes in and goes out of our airport.”

 

The addition of Charlotte service gives the airport an average of 25 daily departures, flying to five major hub airports: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, and Denver. The new Charlotte service will increase the number of airline seats in the market by 36,000 annually.

 

“Springfield and American have a long relationship. It began in 1946 and has endured for 69-years. It continues to grow,” says Hardin. “In the aftermath of the recession passenger growth at Springfield is unusually strong — we’ve had 17 straight months of passenger growth. We view the new American service as a vote of confidence in Springfield and Southwest Missouri.”

 

Tickets for the new Springfield-Charlotte route go on sale this Sunday on the American website: www.aa.com.

 

June 1, 2015:
A Jam-Packed Summer at the Springfield Airport
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Spring is plenty busy at the Springfield airport — in April alone the total number of passengers rose 4.5%. That’s compared to the same month last year. The upswing promises to continue this summer as airlines bring more flights and bigger planes to Springfield. This growth comes after a banner 2014 when passenger numbers grew at an annual clip of 12%.

 

“Allegiant is the real show stopper,” says Brian Weiler, the airport’s director. “It’s increasing its summer schedule here a whopping 57% over last year.”

 

Allegiant flights to Orlando get the biggest bump. In June the airline will fly between Springfield and Orlando six days a week. That’s up from four days a week last June.

 

Allegiant Springfield Flights 2014 2015
     
June flights 51 78
July flights 57 85
August flights 33 59


“The increase in the Allegiant schedule will probably give the airport double digit passenger growth in June, July and August,” says Kent Boyd, the airport’s marketing and air service development manager. “It’s a strong indicator of continued improvement in the regional and national economies. People wouldn’t be buying Allegiant’s vacation packages in numbers like this if their budgets were hurting.”

 

Not to be left out, the other Springfield airlines are bringing bigger planes to the market. American, Delta, and United are all shedding some of their 50-seat regional jets:


 

  • In June Delta begins using an Airbus 319 for one of its four daily flights to Atlanta. The 319 has 126 seats. It replaces a Boeing 717 (113 seats)
  • In June United begins using a Bombardier CRJ-700 for one of its four daily flights to Chicago. It has 66 seats
  • In July Delta replaces another 50 seat jet; this time with a Bombardier CRJ-900. It has 76 seats
  • In July United replaces another 50 seat jet to Chicago with a CRJ-700
  • In July United begins using a CRJ-700 for one if its four daily flights to Denver
  • In July American begins using CRJ-900s on two of its seven daily flights to Dallas
  • In August United replaces another 50 seat jet to Denver with a CRJ-700

“Here’s the bottom line: this summer the airlines will shed a total of seven 50-seat jets from their Springfield schedules,” says Boyd. “That’s good for a couple of reasons. Number one: the airlines wouldn’t bring bigger jets here if they couldn’t fill them.  It shows that demand for air travel in Springfield is high. The second reason is comfort. Many people hate 50-seat jets because they’re cramped and stuffy. The bigger planes are a welcome relief.” Will 50 seat jets come back in the fall flight schedules? Boyd says it’s likely.

 

“Some 50-seaters will come back as the summer travel season winds down. There’s not much doubt about that. But some may stick around. Airline schedules for the fall are preliminary at this point, but they all show some bigger planes in the mix.”

 

Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. They provide service to ten non-stop destinations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers.

          

March 18, 2015:
Public Invited to State of the Airport Presentation
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2014 was a very good year at the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) — it was the fourth busiest year in the airport’s history — and 2015 promises more of the same. Against this backdrop, the director of the airport, Brian Weiler, presents the State of the Airport Address on Thursday, March 19, at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

“Ever since the recession started we’ve had mostly gloomy news to report,” says Weiler. “The economy was tough on the airline and airport industries, so it’s nice to have good news to report to the community.”

 

The airport’s total passenger count for 2014 was 846,324. That’s a 12% increase when compared to the year before. It’s also the best yearly percentage increase of commercial service airports in the region:

 

  • Kansas City International:  + 3%
  • Northwest Arkansas: + 10%
  • St. Louis Lambert:  - 1.5%
  • Tulsa: + 4%

Besides the improving airline economy Weiler will also report on the recently completed expansion of the airport’s general aviation facilities, and the general state of the airline and airport industries.

 

When: Thursday, March 19, 3:30 pm

 

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

 

Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. They provide service to ten non-stop destinations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Ft. Myers.

March 18, 2015:
General Aviation Expansion Ribbon Cutting
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The Springfield airport cuts the ceremonial ribbon for its general aviation redevelopment project on Friday, March 20. The ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m.

 

The expansion project redeveloped about 12 acres of airport property and made it “development ready” for new general aviation airplane hangars. The general aviation complex (GA for short) is that part of the airport which caters to business/corporate aircraft.

 

The expansion helps remedy a shortage of GA hangar space, which has existed for several years, by making ground ready for eight new hangars. Having land available for hangar construction is important for future economic development — adequate GA facilities is something business prospects often look for.

 

“General aviation is one those community assets that’s out of sight and out of mind,” says Tom Hilmes, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “But it’s of vital importance to the business community — especially when it comes to economic development. Businesses that consider moving here often want to know if the airport has a place to hangar their corporate aircraft.”
 

Funding for the project came 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. MoDOT aviation grants are funded by taxes on aviation fuel sold in Missouri.

 

Speakers at the event include Robert Stephens, Springfield mayor, Joe Carmichael, commissioner with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, and Bob Dixon, state senator, District 30.

 

Who: Springfield-Branson National Airport

 

What: Ribbon Cutting for General Aviation Expansion Area
 

Where: 2525 N. General Aviation Avenue 
 

When: Friday, March 20. Ceremony begins at 10:30 am

 

January 15, 2015:
2014: A Very Good Year
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2014 was the fourth busiest year in the 69-year history of the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF). The total passenger count for the year: 846,324. That’s a 12% increase in passengers when compared to the year before.

 

Rank

Year

Total Passengers

 

 

 

#1

2005

888,738

#2

2007

883,893

#3

2006

864,999

#4

2014

846,324

#5

2009

811,771

#6

2010

796,251

#7

2008

779,995

#8

2013

755,773

#9

2012

752,214

#10

2011

731,395
 

“Not only was 2014 one of the airport’s best years, it’s the best year the airport’s had since the beginning of the economic recession,” says Brian Weiler, director of aviation. “It’s a strong indication that the local and national economies are improving.
 

Every month of 2014 showed strong growth with July and September leading the way: July passenger numbers were up 13.5%. September registered growth of 16.3%.

 

The success of 2014 comes after several years of gloomy news in the airline and airport industries.

“The airport’s passenger numbers have been flat or negative for the past five years,” says Kent Boyd, airport marketing director. “The last time we had double digit growth was in 2005.”
 

During the recession, and in its aftermath, airlines made big cuts at airports across the country and SGF was no exception. In 2011 alone the airlines cut the supply of seats at SGF by 21.5%. Since then supply has been flat. “And that’s where we’re bucking the trend,” says Boyd. “Airlines are actually bringing seats back to our market because they see strong demand here.” In 2014 the airlines increased the number of available seats at SGF by 5.3%.” Nationwide, airlines added 1.8%.

 

Will double digit passenger growth continue in 2015?
 

“It’s doubtful — double digit growth isn’t the norm at any airport,” says Weiler. “In 2014 the airlines basically figured out that they’d cut too much in Springfield. So they spent the year putting seats back in the market. That helped grow our passenger numbers.”

 

The airlines are bringing even more seats to Springfield in 2015. Advance schedules show a 4.5% increase for the first half of the year. Nationwide, the supply of seats will be up 1.8%.

 

“That local increase is further evidence that the Springfield air market is stable and getting stronger,” says Weiler.

 

Other airport metrics improved in 2014: the amount of aviation fuel pumped at the airport grew by 7.6%. It’s the first fuel increase since 2011.

 

Additionally, the number of aircrafts fueled grew by 4.2%. That’s the first increase since 2006.

 

Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. They provide service to ten non-stop destinations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Ft. Myers.

December 11, 2014:
Holiday Flying Tips & Changes in Security Screening
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The holidays are the time of year when infrequent (or first time) fliers fill the nation's airports. With that thought in mind the we offer the following tips for infrequent fliers - 

 

  • Use an airline app. Nearly all airlines have free smart phone apps that let customers make and change reservations. The apps also offer real-time flight updates and downloadable boarding passes. Using an airline app can save lots of time at the airport.
  • 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. You must be checked in to your flight no later than 30 minutes before departure.
  • 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.
  • 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 boarding pass matches the name on your photo ID.
  • Don't wrap presents. Security screeners may unwrap them for inspection.

Speaking of security screening ...

 
This holiday season sees a change in passenger security screening. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now using millimeter wave scanners at the Springfield airport to screen passengers before they board the plane.

 

TSA says millimeter wave scanning reduces the need for physical pat downs and results in a smoother flow of passengers through the security checkpoint.

 

A millimeter wave scanner is a large booth with glass walls. Passengers step inside and hold their arms over their heads for a few seconds. The scanner looks for explosives and weapons without physical contact. It takes about 20 seconds to scan a person, while a pat-down takes two to four minutes.

 

Older versions of this technology caused privacy concerns because the screening images were anatomically correct. TSA officials say the new machines (image to the right) show generic outlines of people, without the anatomic detail.

 

If someone doesn't want to be scanned they can opt-out. According to TSA those opting out will be screened using "alternative methods," including a physical pat-down.
 

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.

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