Flight Blog

Feb 07 2013 Wedding Bells? BY sgf-adminTAGS American, US Airways


Dallas media outlets report that a merger of American Airlines and US Airways is a done deal.

WFAA-TV and the Dallas Morning News both quote unnamed sources who say American's board of directors will meet on Monday to consider — and approve — a merger.

US Airways and American Airlines logo

Here in Southwest Missouri everyone wants to know what the apparent merger will mean for Springfield's American service — the airline flies  from here to Chicago O'Hare and Dallas (DFW).

We do not expect any service changes. Bottom line: the service to Chicago and Dallas will remain; we may gain service to Charlotte, which is a major US Airways hub.

Our avaiation analyst, Mike Boyd, recently wrote this to us:

"Effect on SGF: Some Potential Upside. A merger with US Airways would likely be a positive development for SGF, and at the very least neutral. If a merger is consummated, the name of the combined airline would remain American, with the corporate headquarters remaining in the Dallas region.

The current DFW hub would remain the major hub in the combined airline’s system. However, it is likely that some current Phoenix connecting capacity would shift to DFW. A larger DFW hub would be positive for SGF.

Another potential benefit for SGF would be the possibility of the addition of nonstop service to Charlotte (CLT). While CLT does overlap to some extent with the markets served by Delta’s ATL nonstops, the combination of domestic and international connectivity at CLT could be attractive to the combined airline.

Charlotte has strong connectivity not only to the southeast, but also to the northeast and mid-Atlantic region. Furthermore, European and South and Central American connectivity are also available via CLT."

Read a previous post about the possible merger — click here.



We've talked about it for the past year — the expected demise of the small regional jet (50 seats or less). Today we have another sign that bigger jets are on the way: Republic Airways will operate large regional jets for American Airlines. Read the story from the Dallas Morning News.

BTW... That red, white and blue image is the new American Airlines logo.







"What was that loud airplane we heard last night about ten o'clock?"

Sometimes people ask it like a question; other times it's an accusation...

Regardless, we've been getting for years — especially in the dead of winter when the cold air seems to amplify the uproar. Our answer is always the same. "That's the Federal Express 727 cargo plane. It lands every night about ten o'clock."

Image of Federal Express 727 jet

People from all over the Springfield metro ask the question, but it usually comes from those living in southwest Springfield. Have any of you noticed that the punctual ten o'clock roar is no more? That's right. FedEx put the old beast out to pasture about two weeks ago. It's been replaced by a much newer, and much less noisy, 757 (bottom photo).

The top photo shows one of the old 727s on our cargo ramp. They were made between 1963 and 1984. You won't find many in passenger service these days — most were converted to cargo planes long ago.

FedEx started retiring them several years ago for a host of reasons: they're old and expensive to maintain, they guzzle gas, and, oh yes, they make a lot of racket! In contrast 757s are much newer (less expensive to maintain), more fuel efficient, and much less noisy.

I keep on waiting for someone to call and ask why the ten o'clock hour is so quiet!


Jan 09 2013 Glimpse of the Future at SGF BY sgf-adminTAGS Airlines

Image of an Embraer 190 jet


We got our first up-close look at an Embraer 190 yesterday (photo left). The 190 has been in production about 10 years but the airlines haven't used them for Springfield air service — that's probably going to change in the next couple of years — we fully expect to start seeing them on a regular basis. Here's what's going on...

Most of our airport's service is on regional jets. That's "RJ" for short. These small jets typically carry between 44 and 50 passengers. Many of you love to hate them because they're so cramped...

The airlines are retiring RJs like crazy because they're getting old and they're expensive to fly — you can't sell enough seats to pay for the gas. The Embraer 190 will likely end-up replacing many of the RJs.

Aviation Geek alert! The photo on the left shows the Frontier 190 that visited yesterday. The photo on the right is a typical RJ. Notice the differences. The 190's bigger engines are mounted under the wings, while the engines on the RJ are mounted in the rear. Notice the differences in tail configurations. Click the photo of the 190 to see a bigger version.

Some people refer to the 190 as a stretched RJ. That's really not fair. The 190 can carry up to 114 passengers and is considerably more comfortable. It's more powerful and more fuel efficient. Overall, it's a vastly superior airplane. Here's to the future!



Gourmet coffee is coming to our airport. The Springfield based Heroes Coffee Company will open an airport store in early February.

We already have two restaurants, two news and retail stores, and a full service bar. Gourmet coffee was the missing link — it has certainly been the most mentioned "want" by airport customers.

The Heroes beverage menu will include gourmet coffee, espresso, fruit smoothies, Italian sodas, and root beer on tap from Springfield Brewing Company. Food items will include custard bars from Andy’s Frozen Custard, baked goods from Brown Egg Café, and chocolate from Askinosie Chocolate.

While airport customers enjoy their gourmet coffee they can surf the Internet using the airport’s new and vastly improved Wi-Fi system.

Wi-Fi allows computer users to connect to the Internet wirelessly. The Springfield airport began offering the service for free in 2003. We were one of the first airports in the country to do so.wif-fo logo

Back then the only people using the Wi-Fi were people with bulky laptop computers. And their numbers were few. Today it’s completely different. It’s not unusual to have a couple of hundred people connected. A few still use laptops, but the majority use tablets and smart phones. We see whole families who are wired — mom and dad with iPads; kids with iPhones and iPods. The old Wi-Fi system couldn’t keep up.

The new Wi-Fi keeps up with demand and can even regulate usage. Suppose someone is hogging the connection by downloading huge files. When that happens it can slow down everyone else’s connection. Our new Wi-Fi identifies connection hogs and cuts them back. That way everyone is assured a good connection.