St. Louis Downtown Airport

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St. Louis Downtown Airport
St. Louis Downtown Airport logo.png
St. Louis Downtown Airport (25907213937).jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerBi-State Development Agency
ServesGreater St. Louis
LocationCahokia, Illinois
Elevation AMSL413 ft / 126 m
Coordinates38°34′15″N 090°09′22″W / 38.57083°N 90.15611°W / 38.57083; -90.15611
CPS is located in Illinois
Location of airport in Illinois
CPS is located in the United States
CPS (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12R/30L 7,001 2,133 Asphalt
12L/30R 5,300 1,615 Concrete
5/23 2,799 853 Asphalt
Statistics (2005)
Aircraft operations170,000
Based aircraft281

St. Louis Downtown Airport (IATA: CPS, ICAO: KCPS, FAA LID: CPS) is a public-use airport located in Greater St. Louis, one mile (2 km) east of the central business district of Cahokia, in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. It is owned by the Bi-State Development Agency. The airport is located less than 3 miles from the Gateway Arch riverfront in St. Louis and is used by many business aircraft visiting the St. Louis region. Airport services include two full-service 24-hour fixed-base operators, an instrument landing system, an FAA air traffic control tower, and its own dedicated Index B aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) service.[1] It is utilized mainly by Saint Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology for training purposes, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals for charter flights to away games.[citation needed]

The St. Louis metropolitan area is also served by St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis County, Missouri; MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Belleville, Illinois; St. Louis Regional Airport in Alton, Illinois; and Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

St. Louis Downtown Airport covers an area of 1,013 acres (410 ha) which contains three paved runways: 12R/30L measuring 7,001 x 100 ft. (2,133 x 30 m), 12L/30R measuring 5,301 x 75 ft. (1,616 x 23 m) and 5/23 measuring 2,799 x 75 ft. (853 x 23 m).[1]

For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2005, the airport had 170,000 aircraft operations, an average of 465 per day: 97% general aviation, 2% air taxi and 1% military. At that time there were 281 aircraft based at this airport: 62% single-engine, 21% multi-engine, 12% jet and 5% helicopter.[1]

Historic Hangar #2 houses the Greater Saint Louis Air & Space Museum [1] and the airport is still home to the nation's oldest flight school, Parks College of Engineering and Aviation's Center for Aerospace Sciences, which holds CAA Flight School Certificate #1.


One of the Curtiss-Wright hangars

The airport opened in 1929 as Curtiss-Steinberg Airport. In 1940 it was renamed Curtiss-Parks Airport, followed by Parks Metropolitan Airport later that same year.

Taken over by the United States Army Air Forces on 1 August 1939 as a basic (level 1) pilot training airfield. Assigned to USAAF Gulf Coast Training Center (later Central Flying Training Command). Parks Air College conducted contract basic flying training. Flying training was performed with Fairchild PT-19s as the primary trainer. Also had several PT-17 Stearmans and a few P-40 Warhawks assigned. Inactivated 12 March 1944 with the drawdown of AAFTC's pilot training program.

The airport closed in 1959 and reopened six years later as Bi-State Parks Airport. It was renamed St. Louis Downtown-Parks Airport in 1984 and received its current name in 1999.

The two survivors out of the airport's original four hangars, Hangar 1 and Hangar 2, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

Past airline service[edit]

In 1971, Air Mid-America Airlines was operating scheduled passenger flights from the airport nonstop to Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) and Springfield, IL (SPI) with 40-passenger seat Convair 600 turboprop airliners.[3]

In 1984, Air Midwest was operating scheduled passenger flights from the airport nonstop to Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) and Kansas City Downtown Airport (MKC) with Swearingen Metro II commuter propjets.[4]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • Shaw, Frederick J. (2004), Locating Air Force Base Sites History's Legacy, Air Force History and Museums Program, United States Air Force, Washington DC, 2004.
  • Manning, Thomas A. (2005), History of Air Education and Training Command, 1942–2002. Office of History and Research, Headquarters, AETC, Randolph AFB, Texas ASIN: B000NYX3PC
  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for CPS (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^, Dec. 15, 1971 Air Mid-America Airlines timetable
  4. ^, Sept. 1, 1984 Air Midwest route map

External links[edit]