City approves airport name change, pursuing expanded service

ST. GEORGE – The St. George Municipal Airport will be getting a name change in the future thanks to a measure passed by the St. George City Council Thursday.

The city’s airport advisory council recommended that the name of the airport be changed to the St. George Regional Airport in order to accurately denote the range of services available.

“As a regional airport, one of the benefits that comes with it, it denotes a larger airport – more safety services, more corporate airline services are available,” Richard Stehmeier, St. George Municipal Airport manager, told the City Council.

The airport has always functioned as a regional one with the associated safety and commercial services. Yet, the current name gives the impression the airport lacks those services, Stehmeier said, and changing it will help with marketing purposes.

“When you think municipal, you don’t think of those kind of things,” Stehmeier said.

The City Council unanimously approved the name change which is estimated to run the city between $7,000-$9,000 to cover needed sign changes.

Stehmeier said he is also pursuing a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration for around $400,000-$450,000 for the airport.

The city won’t know if the grant will be awarded until later this year, he said, but if it is, it will be used to fund the creation of new travel routes out of the airport to destinations like Phoenix, or once again provide regular service to Los Angeles.

Different airlines are being approached about the possibility of creating a new route or routes should the grant go through. If it does, the funds will be used to help cover much of the airline’s start up costs or the new route, Stehmeier said.

It is the same process the city went through in order to gain funding for the creation of the air route to Denver via SkyWest Airlines. The new route opened in June 2013.

SkyWest dropped regular flights to Los Angeles prior to beginning service to Denver.

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  • daniellejackson July 11, 2015 at 11:31 am

    A new route to Phoenix would be fantastic!

  • Jensen July 11, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Why not go all the way and name it St George International Airport?

    • An actual Independent July 12, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Well, there is no Customs or Immigration here, and no international flights. Can’t just name it International.

  • knobe July 11, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Many of us need to go west .
    Going to SLC or Denver 1st is nuts .
    Currently we go to Vegas to get to LAX or SFO .
    Not sure why they dropped LAX but hopefully ,
    SOMEONE will add a route WEST .

  • valleygirl16 July 11, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, please add flight service to the Phoenix area!

  • fun bag July 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    We can’t even get a flight to LA? Remind me why that thing was built again?

  • 42214 July 11, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Should be named, “Good ole boys made a fortune” airport

    • mesaman July 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Well I lean towards the St George International Airport and Space Station. At least it wasn’t McArthur Field. The thought threw fear through my veins.

    • Oldpaint July 13, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      I see that Steve Urquhart is pushing the idea of a Daniel D. McArthur Airport, which is pretty much the same thing as the “Good Ole Boys Made a Fortune” Airport, eh? You could see that one coming for about five years.

      And wouldn’t it be wonderfully appropriate, for the airport to be named after the man who presided over so much shameful skullduggery and cronyism? After all, who else should claim the wildly inflated passenger figures fed to the FAA to secure their funding-125,000 per year rather than a more truthful 26,000? Who else should be remembered by all the small concerns and family businesses who were sunk by the prohibitive cost of relocating to the new airport, and the cripplingly slow pace of getting basic utilities to those who did move? I’ll bet all those people are loving their new jobs, hundreds of miles away.

      And speaking of jobs, how about all those pilot wannabes who can now choose another, less lucrative, blue collar occupation at DXATC, since Dixie State University couldn’t afford to move their venerable and productive aviation program to the new airport? Let them learn welding!

      What better name than McArthur, who has been heard to complain that he can no longer afford his flying hobby, for a community airport that the community can’t afford to use? The airport move caused a considerable Exodus, but in this case the Promised Land was Hurricane and other airports that offer their facilities at a fraction of the price and without an onerous and draconian contract. After all, local General Aviation patrons were advised by their attorneys to sell their planes or move them elsewhere, rather than to sign the outrageously predatory contract proffered by the City, complete with confiscatory clauses for petty hangar infractions.

      And wouldn’t the McArthur name be loud and proud on hangars mandated to be equipped with fire suppression equipment for fuels other than what is actually used in aviation? Nice touch! Of course, who can even afford to erect a hangar, when it costs a wealthy man’s years income to dig down deep enough to remove all the blue clay on the mesa? You don’t suppose the runways will be affected? I guess that location was chosen for some attribute other than practicality and geological suitability.

      Mayor Pike has been heard to boast that the present ghost town of an airport possesses even more users than the previous bustling facility, but that the new patrons are admittedly “guys with jets rather than Cessnas.” Well heck yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! I love being taxed so the filthy rich can come play in my very scenic backyard while my family sold the plane that we can no longer afford to use in St. George! Maybe we can go on a roadtrip with the McArthurs, whom I hear can also no longer afford to fly.

  • anybody home July 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Face it, St. George is like the Hotel California…you can visit there but you can never leave…and if you do take a plane and want to go anywhere but SLC or Phoenix, you’ll pay twice as much as people flying from other places. I learned this hard lesson.

  • Billy Madison July 11, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I’m all for expanding the airports abilities and reach. As for changing the name, eh, we could use that money for a roller coaster next to the merry-go-round.

    • St. G July 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      I thought the airport was the merry-go-round.

  • fun bag July 11, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I guess we should be grateful that is was mostly the Fed’s money that built the thing. Shouldn’t these local ol’ boys have turned down Obama’s money on principal though? I guess Obama’s money is as green as the next guy’s. Hide them guns!!!

    • Simone July 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      it’s funny how what a politician actually does changes from what he or she said they will do when money enters the picture.

  • old school July 11, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I vote for “The Willie Jessop Gateway To Polygamy Airport”. He can use Warren Jeffs old Escalante for limo service!!!

    • mesaman July 11, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Did you know Colorado City has a very fine airport funded by your tax dollars and generated by their fine grant writers. All it lacked, early on, was IFR. But they didn’t pull that one off.

      • An actual Independent July 12, 2015 at 11:08 am

        Colorado City is the absolute best for practicing landings. Crossing runways of small to medium size, right traffic, left traffic, and there’s never anybody else out there when you want to practice. I haven’t counted them in my logbook, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 30-40 percent of my total landings have been there.

  • pappy July 11, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Why is St. George “Regional” Airport still utilizing the very basic Automated Surface Observation System, ASOS-1, rather than ASOS-2? The former is not capable of reporting precipitation. It will however report thunder and lightning. Without precipitation reporting capability, it cannot observe fog. Reduced visibility caused by fog or rain/snow is shown as HZ (Haze). I would assume that there is a certified weather observer somewhere on the airport; i.e. SkyWest or the F.B.O. Proper pilot briefings ensuring safe operations cannot be given without that vital information. There have been major air carrier operations at SGU which include charter flights as well as weather diversions from Las Vegas (B737, B757, MD80). Surely, with the encouragement of the airport manager, SkyWest and other aviation interests, the upgraded ASOS-2 system can be put into place at SGU.
    Interestingly, airports such as Milford, UT, Ely, NV and Elko, NV enjoy these helpful installations. I do believe there are no scheduled FAR 121 operations as those airports.

  • Simone July 13, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I just glad they didn’t name it something vaguely racist or pro Mormon like “Dixie Regional Airport” or “Polygamy Joe Regional Airport”.

    • htown July 15, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      Ed won’t like “St.” we will have to drop it and just call it George Airport

  • Harold S. July 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Never used the St. George airport and never will. We always fly out of Las Vegas for our family vacations to Hawaii. I did price St. George before I booked and their prices are way out of my budget. I saved almost $1,000.00 by driving my family to Las Vegas. Cost me about $100.00 in gas and two hours of time to drive to Las Vegas. Thats a huge savings. Save your money and driver to Las Vegas. Then you will have some extra spending money to enjoy your vacation on what you saved by taking a little drive. The St. George airport would go completely bankrupt if it depended on my business. Aloha!!!!

  • An actual Independent July 14, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    When Skywest was flying to LA a couple of times a day, it was practical to fly to and from St George. The extra cost was very close to the cost of using the St George Shuttle to Vegas and back, or to the cost of gas and parking to the Vegas airport.

    I’m glad there’s Denver flight now, but from a convenience standpoint, losing LAX to get DIA was a poor trade.

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