Lambert St. Louis International Airport is our region's front door. Many of the people who use that door (including me) want it to look - and be - better. Much better, in fact.
Parts of the "Airport Experience" improvement program began last year, but much more needs to be done - even though this is a not a good time in the airline industry. So, the City is seeking a $125 million bond funding to make some major capital improvements to the airport.
About $60 million dollars will be committed to the next phase of Lambert's continuing terminal and concourse modernization plan. New ceilings, flooring, and lighting will make the terminals look better. New ticket counters and improved security checkpoints will make the airport more efficient and safer. New restaurants and concessions will improve travelers' experience. And new bathrooms well, those are just long overdue.
Other funds will be used to make climate control upgrades, replace the roof on three concourses, add six new airline loading bridges, and install emergency generators and new elevators in the Main Terminal garage - all parts of the airport's Five Year Capital Improvement plan.
In addition, Lambert officials say that the new bonds will cover $20.3 million in grant eligible airfield projects and $21.8 million for debt service reserves, interest and cost of issuance fees.
This all has to be done. (And it will generate several thousand construction jobs as it proceeds.)