We are happy to share more good news about KCPS. Flight operations here at the airport increased to a total of 104,156 during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. This confirms that flight operations continue to rebound from significant air travel impacts we all felt during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the operations are surpassing levels we saw before the global pandemic began in 2020.
Flight operations reported in FY2023 represent a 2.4% increase over numbers reported in FY2022, and a 7% increase over pre-pandemic totals reported in FY2019. This marks the second consecutive year of growth here at St. Louis Downtown Airport.
“The trend in increased flight operations is a positive sign that air travel is returning to normal for private and business travel customers,” said Mary Lamie, Executive Vice President of Multi Modal Enterprises for Bi-State Development, which owns and operates the airport. “The biggest increases in flight operations were seen toward the end of our fiscal year, so we are optimistic that this upward trend will continue into the next year.”
While flight operations have grown, charter flights in and out of the airport have remained steady with 274 reported in FY2023, up 2.6% from FY2019. Fuel sales in FY2023 surpassed those in FY2022, but still haven’t reached the levels seen during the last pre-pandemic fiscal year. Data collected shows there was an increase of 9.8% over FY2022.
Fuel sales have been climbing since the pandemic ended, which is encouraging. We are happy to see the overall positive trends as more aviation customers choose to fly in and out of St. Louis Downtown Airport. We continue to strengthen relationships with our tenants and partners who rely on the airport to accommodate their various needs.
In addition to being the busiest general aviation airport in Illinois outside of Chicago, we continue to be a significant contributor to the local and state economies. According to the most recent study conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), KCPS helps generate more than $422 million in economic impact for the region, including factors such as on-airport activity and visitor spending. The airport supports significant activity from recreational, charter and business flying, as well as flight instruction from Saint Louis University’s Oliver L. Parks Department of Aviation Science, the nation’s oldest flight school still in operation, along with Ideal Aviation and St. Louis Flight Training. We also support government operations, military training, real estate tours, medical transport, aerospace technology research, and glider flying. St. Louis Downtown Airport remains a major job center in the St. Louis area, providing 1,522 full-time and part-time jobs to the region through airport tenants and operations.