Today I was looking at the St. Louis Beacon website, which had an interesting article about the past and future of Lambert, including finances and future planning.
From the article, I found some eye-opening statements from Lambert’s current director, Richard Hrabko.
This is a statement from the article quoting Mr. Hrabko, enthusiastically discussing the possibility of a St. Louis-China air shipping hub.
“Just imagine a trail of 747s coming in and out of here, hauling freight from China,” he said. “We have the capacity to do it. No question. And we think we have much better capacity than any place else in the U.S., including Chicago, which is really the main competition.”
Also from the article,
He said Lambert also has “several thousand acres” on which to build distribution facilities and other supporting infrastructure for a cargo hub.
Could the ‘several thousand acres of land’ be the airport’s vacant land on the I-170 side of the airport, or could this statement be in reference to the former Carrrollton subdivision? Where exactly do they expect to build this shipping hub? How will daily air shipments of Chinese goods really benefit our local economy?
Another damning quote from the article.
Hrabko said of the new runway,”Obviously was something that we wouldn’t build today.”
This should have been obvious in 2001, when they barely started the project and the whole airline industry tanked.
The article also mentions that the airport, in general is financially stable, but does have long-term obligations to pay off the runway expansion and that they could be in better shape.
Of course, the best thing to do with the empty space that was once my home is a temporary resting hold for cheap Chinese goods. Crates of disposable plastic bouncy balls bound for Wal-Mart might one day be stacked where my bedroom once was. What an odd and sad thought.
Here’s a link to the full article on the St. Louis Beacon’s website. Thank you to the Beacon for your in-depth report.