Did the holidays take you out of town to visit friends and family? If so, you were among 30% of Americans who traveled during the winter holiday season. That’s over 94 million travelers nationwide! Our local airport, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, sees an estimated 13 million travelers each year, with over 250 daily flights. In 2013, the busiest day at Lambert was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, with more than 20,000 departing passengers. It takes a lot of upkeep, maintenance, and improvements to provide a great experience for that many travelers – that’s where KAI comes in.

To see how KAI’s work has enhanced the passenger experience nearly every step of the way, let's follow our traveler, Pete, as he prepares to fly from St. Louis to Dallas.

MetroLink Station and Parking

Bags packed, Pete heads to the nearby MetroLink station and boards the train, bound for the airport. He debarks at the Lambert MetroLink station, designed by KAI. Had he chosen to drive to the airport, he'd likely be parking in a lot that KAI has helped to improve, through new pedestrian bridges, shelters, canopies, or lighting.


After arriving at Lambert, Pete enters Terminal 1 (formerly known as the Main Terminal), a space recently renovated by KAI and project partner, Teng Associates. KAI provided architectural support, MEP engineering, and building information modeling for the renovation of the Main Terminal ticketing hall, including the ticketing counters where Pete checks in and receives his boarding pass.

Baggage Handling System
At the counter, Pete checks his suitcase with the ticketing agent. His bag enters a conveyor system that leads to a new baggage screening system, installed to increase airport and traveler security. KAI’s MEP engineers worked with Lambert to design this new system which screens each bag for explosive devices, among other things.

Gate and Concourse Improvements

Now that his bag is checked and he's made his way through security, Pete heads to his gate in Concourse A. As he walks, he stops to browse the variety of shops and newsstands along the way. KAI provided MEP engineering services to enhance lighting and HVAC performance for stores including Hudson News, CNN News, See's Candies, and the Spectacle Shop.

As an Admirals Club member, Pete sees KAI’s work there too, as we assisted with the relocation and renovation of the club. The American Airlines Admirals Club is a members-only lounge that offers complimentary refreshments and computer wi-fi access for travelers. After a quick snack, Pete arrives at his gate, where he again experiences upgrades designed by KAI, such as renovated and enlarged check-in areas and new lighting and environmental controls.

Main Tarmac/Fiber Optic Loop

Finally, Pete boards his plane and awaits takeoff, while the pilot communicates with air traffic controllers via the new fiber optic loop infrastructure designed by KAI engineers. The loop is used for security lighting and communications out on the tarmac.

Now safely in the air, Pete is on his way to Dallas, where he'll land at DFW International Airport. Stay tuned for the second leg of Pete's trip, where he'll and encounter more of KAI's work, including improvements at DFW's Terminals A and D.