Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds
FAA Approval of St. Louis Airport Expansion


APRIL 7, 2000
CHICAGO

A U.S. Appeals Court on Friday upheld the Federal Aviation Administration's approval of a $2.6 billion expansion of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the hub for Trans World Airlines. Approved by the FAA in September 1998, plans for the 10-year airport project call for doubling terminal space, constructing an additional parallel runway and improving roadways. The communities of Bridgeton and St. Charles, as well as St. Charles County, which are located near the airport, filed a lawsuit claiming the FAA failed to fully assess other alternatives for expanding Lambert Field.

The ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals "confirms our belief that our record of decision was based on a very thorough and professional analysis," the FAA said in a statement.

Bridgeton Mayor Conrad Bowers said in written remarks that he was disappointed with the ruling and was considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and other options. He also noted a dissenting opinion in the ruling that said the FAA had failed to analyze other alternatives to the expansion plan.

While the project is expected to be financed largely with general airport revenue bonds, no bonds have been sold. Elaine Spearman, a spokeswoman for St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green, said bond deals for land acquisition and for construction still were being structured. However, Mike Donatt, an airport spokesman, said that land acquisition for the expansion had already begun by the airport.

Source: Reuters