Airfreight and Cargo

Two international cargo airports


Five airports with developable land within FTZs

The St. Louis region includes two international cargo airports (St. Louis-Lambert International Airport and MidAmerica St. Louis Airport) and several other regional airports with amenities beneficial to freight movement including financial benefits from Foreign Trade Zones and Enterprise Zones, access to adjacent developable land, multiple modes of transportation, cold storage for perishable goods, and 24/7 operation 365 days a year, free of noise limitations.

Map of the St. Louis region overlaid with airports, Marine Highway ports, River Terminals, Railroad Lines, and MetroLink light rail.

St. Louis Region’s Five Busiest Airports

  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport – St. Louis, MO
  • Spirit of St. Louis Airport – Chesterfield, MO
  • MidAmerica St. Louis Airport – Mascoutah, IL
  • St. Louis Downtown Airport – Cahokia Heights, IL
  • St. Louis Regional Airport – Bethalto, IL

St. Louis Lambert International Airport celebrated its first-ever live animal export in November 2020, shipping more than 200 breeding pigs from Henderson, Tenn. to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The shipment to Brazil demonstrates an aggressive new strategy for overseas exports at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and was the first of several planned shipments.

The Illinois Legislature has allocated $96 million to pay for a long-sought Metro East extension of the region’s MetroLink light rail system to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. Construction on the approximate 5-mile route got underway in 2023.

The region’s robust aviation sector is highlighted by five busy airports that enjoy a unique collaboration and have a significant collective impact on the St. Louis region’s economy. St. Louis Lambert International Airport and Spirit of St. Louis Airport in eastern Missouri and MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, St. Louis Downtown Airport and St. Louis Regional Airport in southwestern Illinois have a combined annual economic impact that exceeds $10 million.

Between all five the airports and their tenants, they employ 36,500 individuals, a number that is set to grow in the coming year as major tenants such as Gulfstream and West Star Aviation expand their operations in the region. In other aviation related news, Lufthansa Airlines launched direct flights from St. Louis Lambert International Airport to Frankfurt Germany in June 2022, marking the return of direct service to Europe for the first time in 20 years.

Take Flight Forum

St. Louis Regional Freightway held the Take Flight Forum on Nov. 16, 2022. The event hosted the directors of the five busiest airports in the bi-state region for an insightful panel discussion that underscored the St. Louis region’s position as a vibrant commercial and general aviation hub.