St. George Regional Airport Plans Expansion, Launches Online Survey


St. George Regional Airport is collecting data through an online survey for its first-ever business plan.

The airport celebrated its 10th anniversary this year but never formed a master plan during its construction. Airports have master plans to secure funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and leave room for growth in future planning.

“It’s a very dynamic plan and one that will prepare us for the next 20 to 30 years,” said Rich Stehmeier, airport manager.

Consulting firm McFarland Johnson was asked to conduct the investigation and oversee the master plan. The survey appears when someone connects to the airport Wi-Fi, and around 500 surveys have been sent so far.

The biggest demand for the airport is to provide catering options for passengers, Stehmeier said. The airport only has vending machine options, which has caused problems when flights are delayed.

“Last month the airport handled 35,000 passengers and the airport reached approximately 12 flights per day,” said Rick Lucas, senior project manager.

With more flights passing through “SGU” – this is the three letter code used to identify flights to and from St. George Airport – more passengers are in need of food and a bathroom. greater wait in the event of a flight delay.

The survey allows the airport to assess the needs and wants of customers. Once enough data is collected, the airport will be able to assess and finalize its master plan by presenting it later to the FAA for funding.

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“The investigation is about booking, checking bags and things like that,” Stehmeier said.

Moving to an online platform, expanding the terminal, and reviewing reservation needs are the most common issues the airport has received comments on. Around 70% of respondents preferred online booking, which is taken into account for the space inside the terminal.

Lucas said he expects to see an expansion of the terminal over the next three years and possibly even more flights. The current terminal is less than half the size it should be for its service levels, and with the growth of St. George, the terminal will need to be at least double the size.

“It will be an easy set-up and there is a lot of ground to build on,” said Lucas. The problem other airports face is that they can be near residential areas where noise complaints are common. The surrounding land is mostly bare around the airport, although the city of Washington is working to expand some of its land north of the airport beyond municipal limits.

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A seating committee for the master plan has been established and includes a director from the city of Washington to participate in the process, Lucas said. However, the airport can only “inform and recommend” to Washington City what it finds, and perhaps think of the best solution.

The survey will be available online and at St George Regional Airport until October 2021.

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