Open house held for new airport terminal
SIKESTON -- The saying goes "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Sikeston officials hope the newly renovated terminal at the Sikeston Municipal Airport will make a good first impression to those flying into the city.
"This terminal means a lot to the city of Sikeston," said Sikeston mayor Steven Burch at an open house for the new terminal Wednesday afternoon. "This really makes a good impression on Sikeston."
Last year there were 1,050 flights that came into Sikeston airport, including organizations such as Robert Trent Jones, Luvs, Manac, Nestle Purina, Wells Fargo, First Community Bank and Pioneer Seed to name a few. Even some members of the Texas Rangers baseball team flew in to turkey hunt and many individuals and businesses fly into Sikeston to eat at Lambert's Cafe.
With over a 1,000 flights coming into Sikeston each year, the old terminal was small and the age and condition of the building did not give the first impression to prospective businesses that the city wanted. The new terminal does just that.
Built just south of the where the old terminal was located, the new building has office space, a large conference room and a nice waiting area among many other amenities.
"The construction of this building and the site itself totaled around $850,000 of which 90 percent of it was covered by federal grants that passed through MoDOT," said Jay Lancaster, public works director for the city of Sikeston. "That includes the parking lot and other site work, demolition of the old building and things of that nature."
Those going through the terminal can see a piece of Sikeston history as well. The Sikeston Municipal Airport served as a U.S. Army training center between 1940 and 1944 as pilots trained primarily on a Fairchild PT-19 or a Stearman PT-17.
A large model of the Stearman PT-17 can be seen hanging from the ceiling in the waiting room, donated by the Burch family, while an original propellor from a Fairchild PT-19, taken from the Sikeston base, was donated by the Beebe family and hangs over a window in the conference room.
There are also many photographs of Sikeston that adorn the walls of the terminal.
"We wanted when people walked into this terminal from out of town that they saw Sikeston," Lancaster said. "We hope that is represented with the pictures we put in there."
The improvements won't stop there as Lancaster said they hope to do a sealing and striping project to the taxiway later this year.
"This is a thriving, important part of the community," Lancaster said. "We hope everyone enjoys the new terminal."