The BND gave the county’s handling of MidAmerica Airport both barrels with a Glenn McCoy cartoon and an editorial on the same opinion page. MidAmerica’s long struggles make for an easy target.
I have to stick up for my old Air Force career field in regards to McCoy’s depiction of the control tower. Absent the correct Air Traffic Control phraseology, it’s also important to note that MidAmerica doesn’t actually have a control tower. Under the existing host-tenant support agreement the Air Force provides ATC services from their control tower located well inside their perimeter fence.
The incremental increase in Allegiant Air aircraft utilization of the MidAmerica ramp and terminal is noteworthy, but it’s still a far cry from where airport visionaries thought they’d be as 2016 closes. When the control tower cab was built it included two mirror-image console set-ups and extra radio frequencies in order to accommodate the expected high aircraft traffic flow. Much to controllers’ dismay, the current day-to-day flow is just a trickle of what it was originally envisioned.
Don’t anticipate MidAmerica management changes anytime soon. County voters spoke at the polls when they reelected county board chairman Mark Kern to serve a fourth four-year term. You get what you vote for, so anticipate status quo all over again.
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Optimistic county officials say the MidAmerica operational and financial situation is “a glass half full;” taxpayers say “half empty.” A realist might say, “A quarter full with a gaping hole in the side of the Styrofoam cup about half-way up.”
Bill Malec, O’Fallon