As of Dec. 16, visitors who arrive to Springfield by air will enter through the Roy Blunt Terminal, following Springfield City Council action yesterday.
Council approved a measure to rename the Midfield Terminal at the Springfield-Branson National Airport to honor retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt for his five decades of political service.
The resolution to change the name of the terminal was sponsored by Mayor Ken McClure.
“This is a very fitting tribute to Sen. Blunt,” McClure said. “The Springfield-Branson National Airport would not be what it is today without the efforts of then congressman and now Sen. Blunt.”
McClure credited Blunt with securing funding for the $119 million Midfield Terminal, which opened in May 2009, and also for playing a part in securing an $11 million American Airlines maintenance facility, which opened in December 2021. Weiler noted Blunt’s personal calls to airline officials were critical to the success of the project.
Furthermore, Blunt secured significant funding for the Missouri National Guard terminal located at the airport, McClure said.
“He’s been a tireless advocate for badly needed transportation infrastructure on many fronts, including especially our airport – the runways, the taxiways, the apron areas,” McClure said. “He’s served our city, our state and our nation well for nearly 50 years.”
Blunt was elected to the first of his two U.S. Senate terms in 2010 following seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Missouri’s 7th congressional district. Before that, he served two terms as Missouri secretary of state and three terms as the Greene County clerk, where he began his political career in 1973 at the age of 23.
“Our state and our nation have been incredibly well served by this statesman,” McClure said. “He’s one of us – he lives in Springfield. It’s right and fitting that he be honored by his hometown in this manner in an institution, the airport, that he has done so much to make it what it is today.”
Katie Moore, chair of the airport’s board of directors, told council the board had held a special meeting that morning and voted unanimously to support the renaming proposal.
“We agree with the mayor and find it fitting recognition of Sen. Blunt’s support of the region and of the airport and transportation throughout his service,” she said.
Brian Weiler, director of aviation for the airport, said Blunt’s contributions to the airport include the high-profile accomplishments cited by the mayor, “but also some of the less glamorous items that don’t really hit the papers.”
He added, “We’ve been fighting to keep funding for our 24-hour air traffic control tower, to have staffing for our TSA exit lanes, things like that. He is aways willing to listen and willing to help with those initiatives.”
Additionally, Blunt has allowed local officials to have a voice in national policy, Weiler said.
“He had me come up to Washington, D.C., a few years ago and testify on an aviation security bill, which I will tell you was a bucket list item for us,” he said. “It was really cool to just have a voice in the national policy that goes on, and we’re certainly going to miss him in that role.”
Council voted 8-0 to approve the renaming, with Councilperson Monica Horton absent for the vote.
A public naming ceremony is scheduled Dec. 16 at the airport.
McClure noted that the cost of signage changes has been procured from private donations.
Weiler said terminal signage improvements, both interior and exterior, will cost approximately $100,000.
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.