Nov. 16, 2017

An aviation grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation to revitalize about 10 acres of property at Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) served as a catalyst for improvement projects to meet increased business aviation demand.

The project involved removing unused parking lots and old buildings to construct access taxiways, roads, and utilities to support construction of new general aviation hangars. Since opening, it has generated more than 60,000 square feet of large hangar development, with one hangar completed and two others currently under construction.

“I knew there was interest in this type of project,” said Brian Weiler, director of aviation at Springfield-Branson National Airport, “but demand has even exceeded my expectations. We are seeing strong growth in business aviation development.”

The airport allows flexibility on hangar sizes, and according to Weiler the demand for the largest hangars has been overwhelming. He credits this demand partly to flight departments based at the airport upgrading to newer, larger aircraft.

Springfield-Branson serves as a port of entry, and a new $1.2 million U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility recently opened at the airport to help support business aviation operators conducting international operations.

In addition to these expansions, a new Part 141 training center in partnership with Ozarks Technical Community College was developed to help meet demand for future pilots. “The school opened this fall at full capacity with a waiting list,” said Weiler. “They are already discussing expansion for future school years.”

Weiler said the region’s economy outlook is generally positive, with a number of large companies and universities based in the area, a low cost of living and low unemployment, adding good economic conditions in the area are driving growth.

The airport itself contributes more than $500 million to the regional economy with around 2,000 jobs at the airport, including those based in the old airline terminal, which is now leased as office space to travel- and aviation-related businesses.

Learn more about SGF.