SET TO TAKE OFF? MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, built a decade ago, continues to struggle. AIRPORT TURNS 10

Beverly Byrd knew the airport was out here. And that's about all she knew. Her travel friend, Verlinda Williams, was even more in the dark. "I had never heard of it," Williams said. "I can't believe it's 10 years old." And with that simple...


"The more activity is happening, the more the economy is churning," he said. "It's real fun. We're going to build a market here. ... We want to be the USA's portal to the world."

Boyd isn't as hopeful.

"There's nothing to turn around. You've built something that isn't needed."

Today the airport has one passenger airline, Allegiant, which offers flights to Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla. It's mostly quiet during the day. It picks up a bit a couple of hours before a flight.

Either way, the group heading to Las Vegas was impressed.

Verlinda Williams, 70, had never flown before in her life. But just prior to boarding, the experience wasn't so bad.

"It's cheap, it's clean, it's not real crowded," Williams said. "It just seems safe."

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MidAmerica By the Numbers

Passengers

2002 4,915

2003 5,817

2004 11,862

2005 53,980

2006 57,217

2007 54,329

(as of Nov. 21, forecast is for 60,000 this year)

Cargo

2002 0

2003 4 Tons

2004 16 Tons

2005 8 Tons

2006 15 Tons

2007 648 Tons

(as of Nov. 21)

Source: MidAmerica

St. Louis Airport

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