The St. Clair County Board this week approved a new 25-year joint-use agreement for the airport at Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois.
One change from the existing agreement is the threshold for when the Air Force needs to reimburse the county for using MidAmerica Airport’s runway. The previous agreement defined substantial use as 100 daily landings for three consecutive days. The new agreement changes the definition of substantial use to 300 landings or a gross cumulative weight of 5 million pounds of government aircraft landings in one month, reported the Belleville News-Democrat.
If the Air Force reaches the threshold for substantial use of MidAmerica’s runway, the two parties can discuss appropriate compensation, said Airport Director Tim Cantwell.
“Historically they have always had substantial use,” Cantwell said. “The [base] commander and I have six months to take the variables and agree upon if there is substantial use in the future, what is the cure for that,” he said.
The agreement, however, allows for either the Air Force or MidAmerica Airport to receive credit for shared services. As a result, it could provide the Air Force unlimited use of MidAmerica’s runway without any payment in exchange for the shared use of certain Scott AFB services, according to the story.
Under the agreement, the county will implement noise mitigating plans at no expense to the Air Force. It also calls for MidAmerica and the installation to craft a joint security agreement outlining procedures that follow Air Force and FAA directives for controlling access to the facilities.
Scott AFB is one of the largest employers in St. Clair County and local officials want the installation to continue to thrive.
“Our number one mission is to be the best joint-use airport in the nation,” said County Board Chairman Mark Kern.