Tornado-ravaged STL at 90 Percent Capacity

 - April 25, 2011, 11:55 AM

American Airlines returned to a full schedule today at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, now operating at some 90-percent capacity after a tornado hit Concourse C last Friday. The EF-4 tornado blew out a majority of windows and tore away sections of the concourse roof, forcing the airport to close and completely disrupting the operations of 11 airlines. 

The airport’s first arrivals came in late Saturday to make way for both departures and arrivals on Easter Sunday, at which time some 70 percent of flight operations had resumed. American Airlines has moved all its operations to Concourse D, where the airport reopened Gates D2, D4, D6, D16 and D20 to American and Gates D8 and D10 to regional airline Cape Air. Lambert also reopened once vacant gates in the B Concourse for AirTran (B12) and Frontier Airlines (B10). The airport expects Cape Air to become the last airline to resume operations when it starts regularly scheduled flights with its Cessna 402s tomorrow.

Lambert’s Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Concourse A returned to full operation after utilities restored power to the airport late Saturday.

“We give tremendous credit to [utility company] Ameren for restoring service to Lambert so that the airport could open just 24 hours after the devastating tornado,” said airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Thanks also go to the numerous crews and workers who have worked with the airport to clean up and make emergency repairs to get where we are today.”