CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill. – City officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a $5.4 million project at the St. Louis Downtown Airport.

Officials cut a ribbon to celebrate the Ground Engine Run-Up and Compass Calibration Pad Project. This benefits aircraft maintenance providers operating at the airport and supports high-tech aerospace manufacturing jobs.

Airport officials are hopeful this will improve production safety, boost airport business, and increase global competitiveness for southern Illinois.

“It helps generate $422 million annually in our economic impact and provides more than 15 hundred full-time and part-time jobs to the bi-state area, between the airport and its tenants,” said Herb Simmons, director of the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency. “That’s what today’s celebration is all about. It’s about jobs.”

Nearly $5 million in state funding was used to support the project. The St. Louis Downtown Airport is the busiest general aviation airport in the state, outside of Chicago.