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Taking flight: Springfield hopes improved terminal for private planes will help boost business

New terminal is part of Springfield's five year Capital Improvements Program

November 01, 2012|by Jonah Kaplan, KSPR News | jkaplan@kspr.com

SPRINGFIELD-BRANSON NATIONAL AIRPORT -- The private planes that you might associate with the 1% - actually affect every airline passenger in Springfield.

General aviation accounts for 11% of the airport's budget, or $1.4 million dollars. If you take that money away, officials say the airport would raise money from somewhere else - like ticket fees.

The City of Springfield presents its five-year capital improvements program to Planning and Zoning on Thursday. In that plan are projects that focus on general aviation.

Officials say the current general aviation terminal is out-dated and overwhelmed. They say adding new hangers to the terminal will keep current customers happy and help new business take off.

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"If an executive comes into an airport and the general aviation is inadequate, the impression is we're a backwoods town and not with it like other cities," says Mark Burgess, director of operations at OzAir, a charter plane service. "That means a lot."

Burgess flies executives from nearly 50 companies in the Ozarks.

There are 17 more who have their own jets: American Products. Assembly of God, Bass Pro Shops, BKD, Bristol Manufacturing, CDP Aviation (Coca Cola), Distribution Air (Redneck Trailer), Five Star Aero (Peterbilt of Springfield), Foster Health Care Group, Great Southern Bank, Hiland Dairy Company, John Q Hammons, Loren Cook Company, O’Reilly Automotive, Ozark Air LLC (Petroleum Properties, Inc. – used to be Webster Oil Co.), Prime Aire, and Tandem Air (Hutchens Industries).

To view the complete Capital Improvements Program, visit http://www.springfieldmo.gov/boards/planzone/pdf_files/cip1318.pdf

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