|By Carmelo Turdo|
St. Louis Downtown Airport (KCPS) is quickly becoming a hub of air charter activity serving greater St. Louis area sport and entertainment venues. Located three miles from downtown St. Louis, St. Louis Downtown Airport is the ideal destination for arriving professional and college sports teams hosted by the NHL St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center, St. Louis University Billikens at Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis Rams at the Edwards Jones Dome or the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Aircraft as large as the Boeing 757 have been welcomed on the Jet Aviation FBO ramp adjacent to the Airport Operations Center after landing on the newly widened 7002'x150' Runway 12R/30L.
The airport has a long history of serving the aviation needs of the greater St. Louis area, beginning with the opening of what was then called Curtiss-Steinberg Airport in 1929, the airport being named after co-founders Mark Steinberg and the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Oliver Parks, founder of nearby Parks College, later became the airport operator and investor, and today Parks College of St. Louis University conducts flight operations on the west ramp near Ideal Aviation FBO. Airport Director, Bob McDaniel, commented to The Aero Experience, "Many of the early aviation pioneers, such as Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Amelia Earhart, and others flew in and out of our airport because of its close proximity to the St. Louis business district. In the 1960s, we became the 'airport of choice' for celebrities including Arthur Godfrey, Hans Conrad, Bob Cummings and many others. As airport facilities continued to improve, our customer base expanded to include movie stars, high-ranking politicians, and the general public flying to St. Louis to attend the many sporting events and other entertainment venues." Today, the airport continues to utilize historic Curtiss-Wright Hangars 1 and 2, used by Ozark Air Services and the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum, respectively, while offering state-of-the-art Part 139 Class IV Commercial/GA Reliever Airport services that include Washington, D.C. "Gateway Airport" status.
Recently, there has been a flurry of charter flights arriving at St. Louis Downtown Airport, bringing in a variety of new aircraft types. Airport Director, Bob McDaniel, continued, "Now, with our recently widened and improved runway, visiting sports teams can enjoy that same close proximity and easy in and out travel. We’ve seen a growing number of Boeing 737’s, 757’s, Airbuses and MD-80s bringing hockey, baseball and football teams to St. Louis through our airport. We’re proud to provide this new capability to our customers and the region." Thanks to the generosity of Director McDaniel and the management of Jet Aviation, The Aero Experience is privileged to bring exclusive coverage of charter flights as part of our Midwest Aero Experience. Here are some examples of recent charter flights featuring MD-81, 737-2H4 and Airbus A319-114 class aircraft:
For more information about St. Louis Downtown Airport and the exciting events coming this spring and summer, please visit http://www.stlouisdowntownairport.com/.