ST. LOUIS — The parking situation at St. Louis Lambert Airport is about to improve. If you ask people about what needs to be improved at the airport, one item is consistently No. 1. See real-time parking information at the airport here. You can call the information desk here: 314-890-1333.

“The parking,” said frequent Lambert flier, Grace Cassidy.

“We do need it,” said airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “We’re obviously busting at the seams. I hear that every day from our customers who can’t park in the garages, and they want more closed-in parking.”

The airport opened the new lot E in 2015 to handle the growing load at Terminal 2, home to Southwest Airlines. It quickly became clear that lot E’s 248 parking spaces were not nearly enough.

Eyes turned to a grassy area next to the east “cell phone” lot adjacent to lot E, where people pull in, wait for flights to arrive, then drive to the terminal to pick up friends/loved ones who’ve just landed.

Cassidy might not have been in the “cell phone” lot waiting on her husband’s plane Tuesday had the new lot already been opened.

“Yeah, (it would) have saved us the grief of coming to get him,” she laughed.

The new lot will be like lot E but with more than 300 new parking spots. It was supposed to be open by now but has been delayed by the pandemic. Airport officials will put the project out for bids later this year with an opening planned for 2023.

“It’s all self-automation. It’s not a staffed lot. It is a credit card lot only,” said Hamm-Niebruegge. “It’s going to be close to the terminal, so the ability to hop on the shuttle that’s dedicated to getting back and forth will be very easy.”

The new lot is small potatoes compared to what may also be in Lambert’s future.

On Thursday, May 5, there will be an “open house” to get public input on a new master plan that could drastically change the airport as we know it over the next 10 years. For more details, click here.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the incorrect date for the open house. It is on May 5.