A couple of years ago, I met with several representatives of the Missouri Growth Association to discuss Lambert Airport. These business people were concerned about Lambert Airport and the sorry condition of its concourses, concession choices, baggage claims, bathrooms, and parking areas. I told them — and other delegations from the RBC, the RCGA, Civic Progress, and the CVC — that improving "the airport experience" was the top priority I had assigned Kevin Dolliole, Lambert’s director.
Director Dolliole has had plenty of history in this subject. His work as San Antonio’s airport director transformed a facility even more dated and run down than ours into an award-winning, first-class front door that showcases that region’s renaissance.
Now, after some extensive planning with business and airline representatives, Kevin is ready to do the same thing in St. Louis. Using more than $100 million of fees and other assessments from the airlines and airline passengers, Kevin will oversee a reconstruction project that will carefully rehab Minoru Yamasaki’s landmark Main Terminal building and modernize the concourses, ticketing area, departure curb, arrival drive, concessions, baggage claim facilities, restrooms, security screening check points and other passenger circulation areas. These improvements will make Lambert more functional and passenger-friendly. They will re-establish Lambert Airport as a first-class facility that will serve as a new “welcome center” to our City. As I promised MGA’s Jack Reis, the plan is to have an airport that once again reflects the spirit of St. Louis.
The project should take about five years to complete. It is long overdue.