Southwest Airlines flight 1625 from Los Angeles circles just south of St. Louis's Tower Grove Park before landing at Lambert on January 30.
It's one of the fascinating experiences of flying, getting the window seat for an aerial view of the city you know so well from the ground. Descending down from the clouds, after flying at 30,000 ft. plus in the air, pilots maneuver the aircraft to line up the plane for its designated runway. Whether the aircraft circles in or makes a straight shot toward the runway, these are the fun few minutes passengers get to spot familiar highways, parks, neighborhoods and other landmarks. In 2014, airline pilots made their final approach into Lambert-St. Louis International Airport 80,581 times. That's an average of 220 per day and more than 250 during peak summer travel months. Southwest Airlines carried the most passengers again this year, serving 6.2 million travelers. It took 29,918 final approaches to pull that off. And another 29,918 takeoffs, too.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport served 12,384,015 passengers in 2014, a 1.5 percent decrease in total traffic versus 2013. Enplanements (industry standards for boarding passengers) for the year were down 1.6 percent or 6.2 million. Arriving passenger traffic was down 1.4 percent, or 6.14 million this year.
The slight decline in year-over-year passenger activity is strongly linked to the first quarter when a number of winter storms across the U.S. caused widespread cancellations. For instance, in January 2014, passenger activity dropped 6.5 percent, mostly due to flight cancellations.
“Even though St. Louis was hit with a few storms, the real decline was linked to weather that caused major disruptions along the eastern seaboard,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “As we look to 2015, we already see positive passenger service developments with new non-stop service starting to Austin, TX, Portland, OR, and Fort Dodge, IA.”
For 2014, Southwest Airlines recorded a market share of 50.4 percent for passengers served at Lambert. American airlines recorded a 14.4 percent followed by Delta with 13.9 percent of passenger traffic.
Students from Forsyth School had fun flying their own plane toys at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport this week.
Field trips are part of the best things about growing up and going to school. We get lots of young and inquisitive visitors stopping by to see how planes fly and airports work. This week we had the pleasure to meet two dozen three and four-year olds from Forysth School in Clayton. With a handful of teacher escorts, the children traveled to Lambert on MetroLink. They watched out our windows to see planes move about the airfield. The highlight of their trip was to find Lambert’s STL 250 birthday cake at Terminal 1. After a few photo ops, the children each got a toy airplane to take home and remember their adventurous day. The toy planes got a lot of mileage in just a few minutes of excitement here at the Airport.
Art, architecture and aviation enthusiasts now have a chance to own limited edition prints created from reclaimed copper from the historic Terminal 1 roof at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Three St. Louis presses each developed imagery inspired by Lambert and the nostalgia of travel as part of a commission by the Lambert Art and Culture Program. The Firecracker Press, Pele Prints, and Yellow Bear employed a variety of processes, including woodcuts, etching, and chine-colle to alter reclaimed copper tiles. This allowed 60 years of marks to be forever impressed into these pieces of fine art.
In 2014, Lambert completed the replacement of the terminal’s original copper roof installed prior to its opening in 1956. The presses each transformed one of the weathered, historic tiles into a printmaking plate. The malleable copper tiles, shining with a green patina from years of wear and weather, were conditioned and shaped by the presses, ultimately forming printmaking plates to transfer imagery onto paper.
The three series of prints are 15” x 20”. Artist Amanda Verbeck of Pele Prints used the copper plate to incorporate flight paths onto colorful paper airplanes for “Take Fight.” Gina Alvarez of Yellow Bear used the copper to produce clouds connected by aviation navigation paths in “I Remember When.” The Firecracker Press used both copper and woodcuts to create whimsical setting featuring a couple taking off on vacation at Lambert in “The Honeymoon.”
“These are beautiful works of art that appeal to both art lovers and those interested in the historic Lambert terminal,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Each purchase directly supports the continued exhibition of art at Lambert, an added bonus for both travelers and our community.”
These limited edition prints are for sale via the Lambert Airport Art shop on Etsy and through Lambert’s PR office at 314-426-8125. The Lambert Art and Culture Program sponsors both temporary exhibitions and permanent art installations with a mission to enhance the visual appearance of the Airport and support the arts in the St. Louis region.
A passenger chose to make a business call outside Lambert’s Terminal 1 during an unusual January warm-up in the weather.
Sunshine and warm weather are often a cool mix, especially when it hits in January. Visitors and passengers were able to shed a few layers on Friday with temperatures hitting the low 50s. Of course, the last several weeks we’ve experienced the normal January temps that hover in the 30s during the day. One passenger took advantage of this great break in the cold to take a business call in the new courtyard outside Terminal 1. The milder temps are expected to stick around for several days.
Linda Jun and Loretta Davis welcome Mark Drury of Super Holiday Tours to St. Louis for this week’s 2015 American Bus Association’s Marketplace.
St. Louis is all about getting on the bus this week as the host to the 2015 American Bus Association’s Marketplace event. It’s bringing in thousands of delegates together from travel, motorcoach operators, tour operators and other tourism professionals from across North America. It’s not just a meet and greet event. It’s about connecting industry delegates to be able to book millions in deals linking destinations, hotels and tourism companies in the coming months and years. Bus travel is a major component for St. Louis tourism. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission has coordinated a major lineup of events for the delegates to showcase the hospitality of the entire St. Louis region. Delegates have been greeted by an energetic welcome team at Lambert to kick off their experience here in St. Louis.
Jaclyn Robertson watches as her 9-month-old daughter, Kaylin, explore the Magic House’s St. Louis International Play Port at Lambert.
The holidays brought a lot of families together over the last few weeks. Many of them were able to cap off their trip to St. Louis with an exclusive experience through the Magic House’s St. Louis International Play Port. The play area in the C Concourse is just wrapping up its first holiday season. For parents, it offers a great opportunity to watch their children explore the world of travel with a hands-on experience. A plane, train, air traffic control tower and lots of cars give kids plenty to options to discover. Jacklyn Robertson of Anchorage, Alaska was able to play with 9-month old daughter, who is just tire-high, but loved crawing around as bigger kids jumped from exhibit to exhibit. The play area made its debut at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in May 2014.
Lester Bryant is counting down his bag tags after 50 years working for several companies at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Baggage and bag tags. After 50 years, there’s no way to count how many Lester Bryant has touched at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. But he sure has touched a lot of hearts in his many jobs at the Airport. He’s winding down his fifth decade in his final job as a skycap for AirServ, handling curbside check-in for Southwest Airlines passengers at Terminal 2. He began his tenure as a ramp agent for TWA. He’s been such a warm fixture at the Airport, his co-workers simply call him “Dad.” He says his time here has been great, “Like an ocean cruise, with ups and downs, but I can now see the lighthouse and the shore.” The best part of the job, he says, has always been about meeting people.
Vocal music teacher Toni Towns directs the Barack Obama elementary school choir in Terminal 1.
This past week was peak performance time for dozens of school, church and community vocal groups to welcome travelers and airport visitors with favorite holiday classics. Carolers singing in our terminals is a favorite tradition especially when you see all the smiles of passengers as they perform "Jingle Bell Rock" or other well known songs. Barack Obama Elementary from the Normady Schools Collaborative brought out the largest group so far to the Airport. Donned in Santa hats, vocal music teacher Toni towns led her third, fourth and fifth graders in song and choreography near the USO.
Southwest Airlines announced it will expand operations at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) with new daily service to Austin, TX (AUS) beginning June 28, 2015. Tickets are available now for the new daily flight, which was part of the airline’s peak summer schedule released this week.
“Daily service between Lambert and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has been a top priority for this region based on the companies who do regular business in both our cities, as well as the overall growth of passenger traffic between St. Louis and Austin,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert Director.
“This new route will open new opportunities for St. Louis’ growing number of entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Ron Ricks, Southwest Airlines’ Executive Vice President. “This is an exciting opportunity to connect two cities focused on innovation and growth – which is really what Southwest’s purpose is all about: connecting people to what’s important in their lives.”
Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.