MASCOUTAH, Ill. – It’s a quiet Wednesday afternoon in Mascoutah, Illinois. But this little airport that’s been around since 1998 is setting the standard during the COVID pandemic.
Bryan Johnson, just six months into his job as director of MidAmerica Airport, is excited about its future.
“One – we’ve got affordable fares and great destinations and convenient parking and hassle-free security,” he said.
From June 1 to August 31, some 40,590 passengers at MidAmerica Airport were screened by the Transportation Security Administration or TSA. It’s here they saw the smallest decline in summer passengers of any airport in the country.
“We were out of 389, almost 400 airports nationwide over this summer, we had the least decline,” says Johnson. “We had a 31 percent decline and the rest of the industry had a pretty significant decline. That, again, is all about our air carrier, Allegiant Airlines.”
Johnson spent 30 years in the aviation industry and thinks that this location serving Southwestern Illinois and Missouri is finally reaching its maturing, 22 years after first opening.
He cites the airport and Allegiant’s COVID cleaning standards that are helping to get good marks.
Just 25 minutes from Downtown St. Louis, the joint-use facility with Scott Air Force Base has a total of about 5,000 acres between both locations.
Two parallel runways at 8,000- and 10,000-feet lengths add to the appeal of Mid-America.
They will break ground in the next few months on an additional 50,000-square foot building right next to the terminal.
“We’re just kicking off Phase 2 of our terminal expansion project,” says Johnson. “We’re basically doubling the size of this building. That’s all because of what the FAA has looked at and projected for us because of growth. Obviously, this is before I got here and before the coronavirus pandemic but that’s big news and we’re excited because we know we’re on track for more traffic for this airport.”