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MidAmerica St. Louis Airport

Scott Air Force Base
BLV logo.png
Scott afb IL - 2 April 1998.jpg
Airport typePublic / military
OwnerSt. Clair County & USAF
ServesBelleville, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri
Elevation AMSL459 ft / 140 m
Coordinates38°32′43″N 089°50′07″W / 38.54528°N 89.83528°W / 38.54528; -89.83528Coordinates: 38°32′43″N 089°50′07″W / 38.54528°N 89.83528°W / 38.54528; -89.83528
BLV is located in Illinois
Location of airport in Illinois
BLV is located in the United States
BLV (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14L/32R 10,000 3,048 Concrete
14R/32L 8,010 2,441 Asphalt/concrete
Statistics (2020)
Aircraft operations25,612
Based aircraft27

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (IATA: BLV, ICAO: KBLV, FAA LID: BLV) is a public use airport next to Scott Air Force Base. It is 14 nautical miles (16 mi, 26 km) east of the central business district of Belleville and 18 nautical miles (21 mi, 33 km) east of downtown St. Louis in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States.[1]

The airport is the secondary domestic passenger airport for the St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area. St. Louis Lambert International Airport is the largest and primary domestic and international airport for the region. MidAmerica has operated as a joint use airport since beginning operations in November 1997 and is currently served by Allegiant Air.

Per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 152,278 passenger enplanements in 2018[2] (302,000 total passengers[3]). It was included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport based on enplanements (more than 10,000 per year).[4]

It is the fifth busiest of the 12 commercial airports In Illinois.


MidAmerica St. Louis Airport was created to alleviate crowding at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, but had been criticized as a pork barrel project.[5] Featured several times on a "Fleecing of America" segment on the NBC Nightly News, it was called a "Gateway to Nowhere" by Tom Brokaw, costing taxpayers $313 million.[6] Supporters credit MidAmerica's additional runway with saving Scott AFB from closure during BRAC 2005. They also describe MidAmerica as a "Gateway to the World", citing a new cargo terminal and customs facility designed to attract international cargo.[7] Congestion at Lambert Airport has not been a problem since American Airlines reduced hub operations by fifty percent in 2003 and a new billion-dollar runway opened in 2006.[8][9]

Passenger service has increased since Allegiant Air restarted service in 2012 with flights to 12 destinations.[10][11]

MidAmerica Airport was named "Airport of the Year" for airports that see more than 10,000 passengers annually by the Illinois Department of Transportation in 2018.[12]

Passenger airlines

Four passenger airlines have operated from at MidAmerica; as of 2021, only Allegiant Airlines operates there.[13]

Passenger facilities

From the onset, the passenger terminal was planned as an expandable facility that would provide passenger accommodations for the initial opening of MidAmerica Airport and allow for easy expansion if needed.[citation needed] The passenger terminal is located in a 250-foot-wide by 700-foot-long terminal building expansion envelope, bounded by a runway and parking lot. The initial build-out provides two upper level departure gates (both have jet bridges) with additional ground-level gates to serve smaller commuter aircraft.[citation needed]

In September 2020, the airport received $6.5 million in federal grant money to help expand the terminal. There are 4 phases to the terminal expansion. The first phase was completed in spring of 2020. The second phase began in late 2020 and should be completed by the end of 2021. The final phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023. The project will add an additional 41,000 square feet to the existing terminal. This space will be used for a relocated and upgraded security checkpoint, two additional jet bridges, a service animal relief area, family restrooms, a nursing room, an expanded departure lounge and added room for concessions. It will also provide upgrades to accessibility options to better accommodate people with disabilities.[17]

Airlines and destinations


Allegiant Air Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), Sarasota, St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Seasonal: Charleston (SC),[18] Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville (FL), Myrtle Beach, Phoenix/Mesa, Savannah[19]


Between late 2009 and August 2010, one air cargo company, LAN Cargo, used the airport to import flowers from Bogota, Colombia, totaling one flight each week until the county abruptly ended the flights.[21][22]

Both Boeing Defense, Space & Security and North Bay Produce currently have facilities on site. North Bay Produce primarily ships blueberries from Michigan and Chile into the airport; they use a completely refrigerated warehouse for packaging and distribution. Boeing uses the facility at MidAmerica for sub-assemblies for multiple military aircraft.[23][24]

Boeing and North Bay have recently constructed additions to their facilities at MidAmerica Airport.[citation needed]

Airlines Destinations
AirNet Express Dallas-Addison
Flight Development Dallas-Addison

Cargo facilities


MidAmerica St. Louis Airport covers 7,003 acres (2,834 ha) and has two runways:[1]

MidAmerica's construction included the creation of the 10,000-foot (3,000 m) 14L/32R (east) runway, adding 1,000 feet (300 m) to the existing west runway, adding passenger and cargo terminals on the east side of the facility, and building a 7,000-foot (2,100 m) taxiway connecting the two runways. A new air traffic control tower staffed by Air Force personnel was constructed midway between the two runways.[25]

Maintenance and operations

The civil operations are administered by St. Clair County, Illinois, which also pays the maintenance costs for the east runway. Over half of all air operations at the facility utilize the eastern runway.[7]


USDOT's most current data indicates 308,000 passengers used BLV between January 2018 and December 2018[3] and the airport was ranked 204th in the United States. USDOT's Calendar Year 2016 data indicated 80,000 enplanements (157,000 total passengers[3]), nearly triple the 2015 total. FAA's Calendar Year 2015 data indicated 32,589 enplanements[2] (63,000 total passengers[3]), nearly double the 2014 total. In calendar year 2014, the airport was ranked 363 in the United States with 16,328 passenger enplanements. This was a 20.57% increase over 2013.[26] In calendar year 2013, the dual-use facility was ranked 373 in the United States with 13,542 passenger enplanements. This placed it ninth in the state of Illinois.[27] By comparison, St. Louis Lambert International Airport was ranked 31 in the United States with over 6.21 million enplanements.

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2020, the airport had 17,500 aircraft operations, an average of 48 per day: 57% military, 32% general aviation, and 11% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 34 aircraft based at this airport: 27 military, 5 helicopters, and 2 single engine airplanes.[1][28]

Busiest domestic routes out of BLV (May 2021 – April 2022)[3]
Rank Airport Passengers Carrier
1 Destin, FL: VPS 42,730 Allegiant
2 Punta Gorda, FL: PGD 26,500 Allegiant
3 St. Petersburg, FL: PIE 25,760 Allegiant
4 Sanford, FL: SFB 20,600 Allegiant
5 Las Vegas, NV: LAS 13,020 Allegiant
6 Sarasota, FL: SRQ 12,330 Allegiant
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL: FLL 7,810 Allegiant
8 Jacksonville, FL: JAX 5,610 Allegiant
9 Mesa, AZ: AZA 5,010 Allegiant
10 Charleston, SC: CHS 4,470 Allegiant

Total passengers (BLV)

Annual domestic passenger traffic, 2005–present[3]
Year Total passengers % change
2005 28,000 Steady
2006 49,550 Increase 76.96%
2007 51,370 Increase 3.67%
2008 47,030 Decrease 8.45%
2009 374 Decrease 99.20%
2010 274 Decrease 26.74%
2011 0 Decrease 100%
2012 3,830 Steady
2013 25,550 Increase 567.10%
2014 31,340 Increase 18.47%
2015 62,730 Increase 100.16%
2016 157,433 Increase 150.97%
2017 245,028 Increase 55.64%
2018 302,409 Increase 23.42%
2019 303,801 Increase 0.46%
2020 215,092 Decrease 29.2%
2021 318,802 Increase 48.2%
2022 91,988 (thru April) Increase 28.5%

Public transportation

Light rail

MetroLink map Oct2008.svg

Shiloh-Scott St. Louis MetroLink rail station links Scott Air Force Base with direct trains to downtown St. Louis on MetroLink's Red Line. One-ride and all-day tickets can be purchased from vending machines on the platforms. MetroLink lines provide direct or indirect service to St. Louis, the Clayton area, and Illinois suburbs in St. Clair County. The line does not go all the way to the airport; one must either ride a bus or find other transportation in order to reach the station.

Funding was approved to extend Metrolink to MidAmerica Airport in 2019.[29]


Five MetroBus lines serve Scott Air Force Base via Shiloh–Scott (St. Louis MetroLink) station.

Flight testing

In late April 2019, the first MQ-25 Stingray test aircraft (T-1 or "Tail 1") was taken by road from Boeing's technical plant at St. Louis's Lambert International Airport across the Mississippi River to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, which is conjoined to Scott Air Force Base. Test flying was expected to commence at MidAmerica late in 2019, after taxi tests and the Federal Aviation Administration’s certifying the aircraft and granting airspace for flight testing.[30] The first test flight occurred on September 19, 2019.[31]


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Form 5010 for BLV PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. effective April 5, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Passenger Boarding (Enplanement) and All-Cargo Data for U.S. Airports". Federal Aviation Administration. December 20, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f,%20IL:%20Scott%20AFB/MidAmerica&carrier=FACTS[bare URL]
  4. ^ "2017–2021 NPIAS Report". Federal Aviation Administration. September 30, 2016.
  5. ^ Tom Brokaw. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport was featured several times on a "Fleecing of America" segment on the NBC evening news.January 5, 1998. May 27, 1999. August 16, 2000.
  6. ^ Marson, Barrett (January 5, 1998). "NBC 'Fleecing' Telecast Snipes At MidAmerica Airport". Belleville News-Democrat. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Imbs, Christine (March 2006). "Gateway to the World". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  8. ^ "Saint Louis - Business and Technology News". Archived from the original on October 27, 2006. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  9. ^ "Lambert Airport Opens New Runway: Reduces Weather Delays, Serves Passenger Growth". Archived from the original on December 31, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  10. ^ Bustos, Joseph (November 29, 2016). "Allegiant Air to increase flights from MidAmerica this summer". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "Allegiant Air adds $49 flights to Charleston International out of MidAmerica Airport". Belleville News Democrat. January 12, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2021.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Landis, Kelsey (May 22, 2018). "MidAmerica Named Best Airport in the State by IDOT". Belleville News-Democrat. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  13. ^[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b "TransMeridian Airlines to Finish Year at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport". Belleville News Democrat, Distributed by the Associated Press. April 6, 2005.
  15. ^ "Pan Am Will Stop Flying To MidAmerica". St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO). November 2, 2001. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015.
  16. ^ "Final airline departing MidAmerica airport". November 17, 2008.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Allegiant Air aims for pandemic vacationers with flights to 3 new cities, including Jackson Hole and Portland". USA Today.
  19. ^ "Allegiant Announces Largest Service Expansion In Company History With 3 New Cities And 44 Nonstop Routes". Allegiant Airlines.
  20. ^ "Flight Information". Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  21. ^ Louis, St. (October 3, 2011). "MidAmerica Airport's flower flights cost taxpayers millions".
  22. ^ NBC Nightly News, January 12, 2009
  23. ^ Lippmann;Proud, Rachel;Kelsey (February 7, 2011). "Boeing starts production at new Mascoutah, Ill. facility".((cite news)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ Dittman, Megan (June 15, 2012). "North Bay Produce Comes to MidAmerica Airport". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  25. ^ Grandone, Jim (February 2000). "Emerging Roles of Scott Air Force Base & MidAmerica". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  26. ^ "Enplanements at All Commercial Service Airports, 2014". Federal Aviation Administration. September 22, 2015.
  27. ^ "Commercial Service Airports CY2013 Enplanements" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ "AirNav: KBLV – Scott Air Force Base/MidAmerica Airport". AirNav. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  29. ^ Schlinkmann, Mark. "Illinois to pay for long-sought MetroLink extension to MidAmerica Airport". Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  30. ^ "Boeing's MQ-25 refueling drone moved to air base for flight testing". Space Daily. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  31. ^ "Boeing: MQ-25 Completes First Test Flight". Retrieved January 30, 2020.