Airport Development is Economic Development


old terminal image

Lately we've received several questions about the fate of the old passenger terminal. What's to become of it? Will it be torn down? Will it be leased?


We can't tear it down. Since it was partially funded with federal aviation dollars, it can't be torn down without permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  But that's a non-issue. We don't want to tear it down; it's a valuable airport resource. Here's why: we can lease the building and generate a new revenue stream that is not related to aviation. That's incredibly important. Here's why...


Airport’s have many revenue streams. Here are few at ours:


  • Landing fees charged per commercial airline plane that lands
  • Office space rental to airlines, rental car companies, restaurant, etc.
  • Percentage of gross revenue of rental car companies, restaurant, etc.
  • Parking fees

Notice how they all have one thing in common—they’re related to aviation. Or to put it another way, the quality of these revenue streams is directly related to the health of the aviation business. If the airlines are doing poorly, these revenue streams decline.


A growing trend in the airport industry is to become less dependent upon aviation related revenue streams. It’s the smart thing to do—particularly in a time when the airline business is extremely volatile (like right now!).


Here's the bottom line: non-aviation revenue puts the Airport in a better position to weather the hard times faced by the airlines. And the healthier the Airport's finances, the healthier the overall economy of Southwest Missouri. As any economic development person will tell you, a healthy airport, along with its ability to move people in and out, is fundamental to community business recruitment and job attraction.


Okay, okay, that's a long answer to a simple question. So when are going to lease it? Probably before the end of the year. We're currently in negotiations with an entity that wants the entire space.

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