Earlier this week we received our first passenger enplanement numbers for 2017. In January of this year, the Waynesville-St. Robert Regional Airport had 504 passengers. Unfortunately, this number is 54 passengers less than last year at this time.
Our goal for 2017 is to have 10,000 passenger enplanements. This number was not picked arbitrarily. Achieving the goal of 10,000 enplanements would allow the airport to receive $1 million in grant funds from the Department of Transportation. These funds would be reinvested into the airport to make infrastructure improvements and to grow the airport.
Often we are asked why having an airport on Fort Leonard Wood is important for our region. This is a GREAT question and one we are happy to answer!
- The airport provides direct access to Fort Leonard Wood for military personnel, including senior level officials from the Washington D.C. area. Our airport allows us to host important top level officials, such as the Secretary of Defense, and the First and Second Ladies, bringing national recognition to the Fort Leonard Wood region.
- The airport provides an easy, affordable travel option for the thousands of military families and friends who visit the area each year for Basic Combat Training and other military graduations.
- The airport reduces the time business professionals, government officials, and military personnel must spend driving to other airports. Additionally, travel via airplane is one of the safest ways to travel.
- Military personnel who must deploy from the region can use the airport as the beginning point for journey, allowing them to spend more time with family and friends before leaving. Additionally, Cape Air’s baggage plane, which accompanies each passenger plane, can accommodate the service member’s additional baggage.
- Overall, the airport helps overcome the stereotype that Fort Leonard Wood is difficult to reach. Though this may seem strange, we know that in our nation’s current budget situation the Army and Department of Defense are constantly looking for ways to spend their dollars more efficiently. All aspects of military installations are scrutinized constantly to determine what locations are viable assets for the military. It is our job, as citizens of the Fort Leonard Wood Region, to strengthen these assets and ensure that those outside of our region are aware of them.
If you have a trip coming up or if you know of someone who will be traveling to or from the Fort Leonard Wood Region, we ask that you consider trying our Cape Air service. The airport is open to the general public and we offer 4-5 roundtrip flights to St. Louis every day. With free parking and the ability to avoid the stress of larger airports, we offer a great experience and value.
We hope to see you soon!