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MidAmerica Airport seeks to expand as management considers funding options

MASCOUTAH, Ill. – After being named the best airport in Illinois in 2018, MidAmerica St. Louis Airport wants to expand.

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport director Tim Cantwell says more passengers have come through the airport than ever before. He’s projecting 300,000 passengers this year, up from just 30,000 four years ago.

He says now is the time to start planning for future growth.

“…A new access point will be added outside the building but remember we still have to operate the building. We are trying to get back to a four jetway configuration,” Cantwell said.

Cantwell says this new plan would come with a $28 million to $30 million price tag. He hopes the federal government will pick up a big portion of it.

“There are two funding areas. One is a normal Airport Improvement Program funding that goes design, bid, build. Both projects will be phased. The other way is a new pot of money that was made available for primary non-hub airports like ours. To be funded out of a pot, we put a request in on October 31. We should hear in the next two or three months whether we qualified or not,” he said.

Many saw the airport as a money pit for more than two decades and it’s finally proving its worth, but will taxpayers be willing to pitch in for the expansion?

Leaders hope to break ground on the new expansion project by next September.