Extra help rejected for struggling southern Illinois airport

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois airport that has struggled to attract airliners in its nearly 20-year existence has unsuccessfully sought federal financial support in recent years to help bolster its bottom line. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Mid America Airport in Mascoutah applied for $525,000 grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation in each of the past three years. Airport officials suggested that the extra money could keep Illinois travelers from driving to the much larger Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and perhaps also lure Missouri passengers. Airport owner St. Clair County lost more than $6 million in 2013 on Mid America, which is located 25 miles east of downtown St. Louis and has yet to turn a profit since its 1997 opening. That figure climbed to nearly $13 million counting depreciation.