A new book called Aerotropolis suggests airports are a significant part of global trade and major drivers of local economic development. Senator Eric Schmitt of Kirkwood has read the book and believes the development of manufacturing, distribution, and storage systems within fifty miles of Lambert-St. Louis Airport will create such an aerotropolis. “Businesses and jobs are to be located around those places,” says, noting there are more businesses located around Chicago’s O’Hare Field than there are in downtown Chicago.
Schmitt says the under-used airport coupled with large amounts of space for development–such as vacant auto plants–make St. Louis an ideal place to develop an Aerotropolis and to re-establish the city as an international trade hub. He thinks the development area would send ripples throughout Missouri.
Schmitt has gotten tax incentives for development of a St. Louis Aerotopolis in a major tax credit overhaul bill passed by the Senate. The possibilities of an Aerotropolis now rest with the House.