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Plugged In: Lambert Photo of the Week

Military men and women from Fort Leonard Wood occupy time before catching a flight home by using their electronics. Lambert Airport hooked up extra outlets to accomodate the soldiers.

The Christmas holiday season is already a busy time at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The annual Military Holiday Block Leave provided a bigger boost this week with a sea of green as far as the eye can see in the terminals. The mass exodus of soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood is when more than 5,000 military men and women head home for the holidays. The USO, the Airport and many other groups ensure the soldiers get in the holiday spirit with numerous events and special apperances (Santa Claus) for the soldiers. The biggest hit, however, were temporary plug-in stations set up for the day so soldiers could charge up their electronics for games, videos and holiday phone calls.

Lambert Prepares for Christmas Holiday Travel Rush

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is preparing for a busy holiday travel period surrounding the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. Passengers should expect an increase in passenger traffic of 15-20 percent at times in the next two weeks versus non-holiday travel periods.   

The kickoff begins this week with the Airport expecting 19-20,000 departing passengers on December 20.  Friday marks the annual Military Holiday Block Leave with more than 5,000 soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood being transported to Lambert for flights home and elsewhere. The TSA will plan on opening all checkpoints on this morning by 3 a.m. Any passenger flying out prior to 9 a.m. Friday should expect long lines and congestion in Lambert terminals and concourses.

The USO of Missouri is planning a series of events at both terminals for military personnel who will begin arriving as early as 1:30 a.m. Friday.  Events include the annual appearance of Santa and Mrs.Clause, music, military giveaways and a live broadcast of 97.1 FM’s Allman in the Morning from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. in Terminal 1.

U.S. Airlines are predicting a two percent increase in air travel over this winter holiday period with passenger loads on planes to be 80-90 percent full. Friday is expected to be the busiest air travel day across the U.S. prior to Christmas.

Passengers should arrive 90 minutes to two hours prior to their flights during holiday travel period.  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding passengers that they can help reduce wait times at security checkpoints with the following tips:

·3-1-1 for liquids: Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less. and all bottles must fit in 1 quart size plastic bag and placed in a bin for screening.

·Gifts:  TSA recommends passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process. 

·Food: Food items such as pies and cakes are permitted, but may require further inspection

· Children 12 and under and adults 75 and older: TSA has modified the screening procedures for children 12 and under and adults 75 and older.

·Check for prohibited items: Travelers can use the “Can I bring my...” app on www.TSA.gov or www.TSA.gov/mobile to check what items are allowed/not allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. Smartphone users can easily download the “My TSA” app to quickly find helpful information about TSA policies and procedures.

·Prepare for security: Have a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID and boarding pass out and remove liquids and large electronics, including laptops, from carry-on baggage. Remember to remove shoes, outerwear, and bulky jewelry and empty pockets. Place valuable items in a carry-on bag.

·TSA’s Wounded Warrior Screening program: This program allows expedited screening and curb to gate service for this trusted group of citizens. Wounded warriors or their care coordinators can contact TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with details of the itinerary once flight arrangements are made with the airline.

·More Travel Tips: Check out TSA’s helpful Traveler Information site for more useful information to help ease the traveling public through security checkpoints. Additional holiday travel tips are available: http://blog.tsa.gov/2013/11/tsa-2013-holiday-travel-tips.html

 

Picking Up Passengers: Use Free Cell Phone Lots

The impact of this busy travel season also applies to those picking up passengers at Lambert. The Airport recommends motorists use one of two cell phone lots to wait for passengers to arrive. These free waiting zones are conveniently located within a few minutes from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and feature display boards to help check the status of incoming flights. Motorists should contact arriving passengers via a mobile phone before leaving the Cell Phone Lot to confirm they are ready for immediate pickup at the terminals. Passenger pick up zones at each terminal are for active loading only; no waiting is allowed.  For cell phone locations and more information, click here.

Heroic Memories: Lambert Photo of the Week

Seven-year old Corben Phillips gives a Marines Master Sergeant a high-five on his way to the gate for American Airlines annual Snowball Express.

Eleven families from St. Louis and Illinois will share a special Christmas celebration thanks to American Airlines’ Snowball Express. Snowball Express started in 2006 to provide hope and new memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11. This year, eighteen children from the St. Louis and Metro East area will enjoy a four- day Christmas party with other families of fallen heroes in Dallas, Texas. Organizers say the main goal is to honor the sacrifice the families of the fallen have made and make sure that children who lost a parent can connect with other children who are experiencing the same. This is Corben Phillips (pictured) second year attending the Snowball Express. Corben’s dad was killed in 2012.

Night Glow: Lambert Photo of the Week

New trees planted outside Terminal 1 are decorated in lights to offer a perfect accent to the terminal’s domes.

The historic vaulted domes at Terminal 1 always cast a shine in the night’s sky. Now the Airport is taking advantage of nature to feature a new accent. Lambert has planted a half-dozen Heritage River Birch trees in front of one of the domes. The new trees and a set of large planters are part of a courtyard makeover to enhance the views looking in and looking out of the terminal. The trees are now trimmed in classic white lights for the holiday season. The new trees feature exfoliating bark that reveals a colorful inner trunk as they grow. The trees can grow 30 to 60 feet high.

Magic House Children’s Exhibit at Airport Gets Full Funding

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is about to get a lot more kid friendly.

Today officials from Lambert, The Magic House St. Louis Children’s Museum, and Rally Saint Louis announced that a 1,500-square-foot, hands-on children’s exhibit has received full funding and approvals to begin construction. This is a $150,000 project.  It will open in late May for the start of the busy summer travel season.

“We’re thrilled to welcome The Magic House’s unparalleled brand of engaging children’s exhibits to the Airport in the C Concourse,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Director of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.  “This is just one more element that is helping to build upon the overall airport experience.”

“The Play Port” will feature a transportation hub of fun with climb-in and climb-out venues, including a plane, a train and multiple cars. The play area will also include a child-size air traffic control tower, car rental counters and an airport screening area.

“Traveling with young children can be challenging, and our goal is to create a fun and welcoming experience in St. Louis and convey what a wonderful place the metro area is for families,” said Beth Fitzgerald, President of The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum.  “This has been a longtime dream to use The Magic House’s unique interactive play and learning concepts to welcome and entertain visitors to our airport.” 

City of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay applauded the idea, as well as the grassroots and corporate support the project received to make it a reality.

“We’re living in a new era of collaboration and innovation across St. Louis,” Mayor Slay said.  “We’re all working to improve our City and region and to see projects coming to fruition through Rally Saint Louis is rewarding, to say the least.”

Major donors and supporters of this exhibit include Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Carr Lane Manufacturing Co., the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, Bi-State Development Agency/Metro, Jane and Dave Peacock, as well as private donations generated through Rallystl.org.

After launching in November 2012, the first-of-its-kind platform allows consumers to submit, vote for, and help fund ideas that drive progress in greater St. Louis.  Rally Saint Louis has served as a key player in generating and funding five projects, including The Magic House exhibit, across greater St. Louis, as well as:

“Rally Saint Louis has continued to spark the imagination and civic pride of our fellow St. Louisans,” said Brian Cross, who co-founded Rally Saint Louis alongside partner Aaron Perlut.  “Seeing great projects like this reach funding and become a reality for everyone in the region hopefully will inspire more people to get involved and create the next big thing to make St. Louis even greater.”

Wreath Master: Lambert Photo of the Week

Ollie Gramlich and his Field Maintenance crew meticulously decorates inside and outside the terminals for the holiday season.

For more than 10 years, Field Maintenance Supervisor Ollie Gramlich has led a team in decorating Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Their decorating duties start before Thanksgiving. There are plenty of decorations including more than 30 wreaths and hundreds of swags. It’s not just a job for the team. Every year, Gramlich and his team add a fresh, new festive look to the holiday decorations. Gramlich says that could include switching and changing the locations of the decorations and adding something new. This year, Gramlich hopes the addition of a Santa sleigh in both Terminals will warm the holiday hearts of travelers.

Patching Pavement: Lambert Photo of the Week

Crews pour concrete into a new roadway cut to replace damaged sections on Lambert International Boulevard.

 Airports have a lot of pavement, that’s for sure. Maintaining that pavement goes beyond the airfield where airplanes land and taxi. There are miles and miles of roadways that connect workers, travelers and visitors to our terminals and support buildings. This week, a major concrete roadway repair project moved into high gear on Lambert International Boulevard. Crews with Gershenson Construction Company are cutting our damaged sections of the roadway and pouring new concrete. The job is called spot slab repairs. The slab repair work will be done across two miles of the roadway between Terminal 2 and Cypress Road. All of this is weather permitting. The project should be completed in the Spring.

Security Silence- Lambert Photo of the Week

TSA officers pause for a moment of silence to remember a fellow officer killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Friday, November 1, 2013.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport was one of many airports across the country to hold a moment of silence in memory of fallen Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Officer Gerardo Hernandez Friday. Officer Hernandez was killed in the line of duty when a gunman went on a rampage targeting TSA officers at Los Angeles International Airport. TSA Federal Security Director Bill Switzer made the announcement to halt security checkpoint operations in St. Louis at 11:20 a.m. CST in honor of Hernandez. It was a somber moment for TSA officers and passengers.

Lambert Welcomes New Leadership in Key Executive Positions

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has filled vacancies for two key executive positions with the promotion of Jerry Beckmann and the addition of Amber Gooding.

Lambert promoted Jerry Beckmann to Deputy Director-Planning & Development after four years as the Airport Assistant Director of Engineering.  Beckmann joins the Senior Executive Team managing Planning and Engineering, Planning Development and Environmental/Safety departments.  Beckmann is responsible for the planning, contracting and execution of all construction projects at Lambert while also coordinating long-range master plan goals for all airfield and airport properties. 

Jerry Beckmann holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering (University of Missouri-Rolla) and a Master’s of Business Administration (University of Missouri-St. Louis).  He became a registered Professional Engineer in 1993.

Lambert also welcomes Amber Gooding to the staff as the Airport Assistant Director of DBE Programs. Amber Gooding is responsible for managing the City of St. Louis and Lambert Airport’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and M/WBE certification and compliance programs. These programs promote business opportunities for disadvantaged, minority and women businesses for Airport and City departments.

Amber Gooding has more than 25 years of experience in business development across several industries including healthcare, aviation and government.  Gooding was most recently the President/CEO of Diverse Resources, LLC, a consulting firm aimed at supporting business development for small, minority and women-owned businesses.  Prior to that position, she was the Director of Business Diversity Development at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority from 2007-2012. She was responsible for leading all aspects of the Airport Authority’s federally mandated Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Airport Concessions (ACDBE) programs.

Amber Gooding holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Finance (Christian Brothers University) and a Master’s in Business Administration (Lipscomb University) with a concentration in leadership and organizational development.

Blue Oasis: Lambert Photo of the Week

A crew from Missouri Terrazzo lays down a punch of color this week in the Terminal 1 Ticketing Lobby.

The Terminal 1 renovations at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport have featured sky white ceilings, walls and flooring. But this week, a punch of color was added to the mix of this major interior makeover. All new terrazzo flooring has been poured in stages over the last two years on the ticketing level. Terrazzo, which gives off a granite-like appearance, is made with a cementious mix of epoxy and aggregate such as marble, sea shells, plate glass, mirrors and other materials. For the final major pour of on the ticketing level, Lambert turned the mix blue for a new rest and relaxation area. This new terminal oasis will feature other eye-catching amenities as well, which will be revealed in coming weeks.

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