MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (BLV) and St. Clair County, Illinois, today welcome the official announcement that Boeing will be developing its newest factory at the airport in Mascoutah, Ill., where the Navy’s newest carrier-based aircraft will be built. The new state-of-the-art facility for the production of the MQ-25TM StingrayTM represents an expansion of Boeing’s existing presence at MidAmerica Airport, which includes the Boeing St. Clair site supporting manufacturing operations that produce components for the CH-47 Chinook, F/A-18 Super Hornet and other defense products, as well as numerous flight operations for the F-15, MQ-25 Stingray and eT-7A Red Hawk programs.
“This project represents a significant milestone in the continued growth and development of the airport and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of federal, state and local officials and representatives, including the City of Mascoutah and the Mascoutah School Board,” said St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern. “Beyond the airport, development of an aerospace production facility of this size and scope will contribute to the local, regional and state economies through significant job creation and new spending.”
As details of the project and its potential impact on the region were revealed in recent months, the regional support was unanimous, with leaders on both sides of the river signaling their approval for the plans to bring the development to St. Clair County.
Airport Director Bryan Johnson added, “The project will generate significant revenue for the airport, increase operations, reinforce our strong relationship with Boeing, catalyze further development at the airport and create further synergies with Scott Air Force Base.”
The new approximately 300,000 square-foot facility at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, scheduled for completion in 2024, initially will employ approximately 150 mechanics, engineers and support staff who will build the MQ-25 Stingray, the Navy’s first operational, carrier-based unmanned aircraft. Employment could reach up to 300 with additional orders.
“The team and state-of-the-art technology we’re bringing to the Navy’s MQ-25 program is unprecedented, and we’re incredibly proud to be expanding both as we build the future of autonomous systems in Illinois,” said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Autonomous Systems, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “We’ve received great support from MidAmerica Airport and countless dedicated employees, and we’re excited to build the Navy’s first operational, carrier-based unmanned aircraft right here in the Metro East.”
The addition of the new Boeing facility is the latest positive news for MidAmerica St. Louis airport, which is home to several other industrial tenants and also continues to see growth in its passenger service. During July 2021, MidAmerica St. Louis Airport had a new record-breaking month for enplaned passenger boardings as 27,505 travelers flew through the airport. The airport expects to set a new all-time high passenger-enplanement record for 2021. Those passengers are taking advantage of the affordable, convenient opportunities to travel to one of twelve destinations currently served by Allegiant from MidAmerica, including Charleston, Daytona Beach, Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix/Mesa, Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda, Sarasota/Bradenton, Savannah, and Tampa Bay/St. Pete.
MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is located in Mascoutah, Illinois, in the eastern portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area. Passenger service to a dozen different destinations is offered by Allegiant. Major multimodal rail and inland port centers are located within 22 miles of the airport, which also enjoys easy access to five interstate highways via I-64. With parallel runways of 8,000 and 10,000 feet, the airport can handle simultaneous take-offs and landings in all conditions, minimizing delays. It has an annual capacity of 200,000 operations. Tenants include Boeing, which has a manufacturing facility at the airport; North Bay Produce, an international, grower-owned, year-round, fresh produce marketing and distribution cooperative headquartered in Traverse City, Mich. MidAmerica is a Joint Use Airport partnering with Scott AFB, the home to US Transportation Command, a multi service organization, and Air Mobility Command, the USAF’s component command for airlift. MidAmerica and the 375th Air Mobility Wing operate Scott AFB/MidAmerica St. Louis Airport.