Business View Magazine | December 2018

184 185 ST. GEORGE REGIONAL AIRPORT five hangars when it debuted and just two years later, that total had grown to 64. Today, there are 92 hangars at the roughly 1,200-acre facility. Not surprisingly, the number of com- mercial flights has also grown dramati- cally. “Our first year of operation, we had just over 38,000 enplanements,” explains Stehmeier. “Last year, in 2017, we had 118,000 enplanements. Between 2016 and 2017, the air- port grew by 32 percent, as far as enplanements go. We opened up with commercial service to Salt Lake (City) and, initially, we had a couple of smaller Brasil- ias (a twin-turboprop commuter airliner, produced by Embraer) that did some air work to L.A.,” recalls Stehmeier. “That shut down and then we convinced United to come in and provide service from St. George to Denver in that first year. Since that time, we now are up to five flights a day to Salt Lake on Delta, two flights a day, soon to be three, to Denver on United. We have three a day, currently, to Phoenix, Sky Harbor, and we currently have one a day to LAX. Those are all round-trips.” At 9,300 feet by 150 feet, the Airport’s sole runway is large enough to handle Boeing 737s and 757s, as well as the U.S. military’s Boeing C-17 Globemasters and KC-135 Stratotankers. “We take just about anything,” says Stehmeier. St. George Regional has a nine-person staff at the Airport. SkyWest Airlines, which is based in St. George, handles ground traffic there for Delta, United, and Amer- ican Airlines, and has 32-35 employees, while Allegiant Air, which recently began service from St. George Region- al to Mesa, Az., has a staff of nine. “Then, of course, you have the car rental companies and between them, they probably have about 30 employees,” Stehmeier adds. “The FBO, Above View Jet Center, has about 15 workers. The ‘specialty operators’, like maintenance and aviation shops, employ 20 to 30.” A number of projects are underway, or in the plans, to accommodate the increase in demand. For example, the Airport is in the process of more than doubling its paid parking capacity by adding 517 spaces. And 200 new parking stalls are being added for the Airport’s rental car companies to increase the total to 315. RICH STEHMEIER AIRPORT MANAGER