Interim Director of Communications
WHO: Bi-State Development Agency/Metro President and CEO John Nations; St. Louis Downtown Airport Director Bob McDaniel; Airport Fire Chief Mike Mavrogeorge; Beth Rush, Advisor, Aircraft Acquisitions & Sales, FedEx Express; Dr. Susan Shea, Director of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Division of Aeronautics; representatives of Jet Aviation and other community leaders.
WHAT: Ceremony marking the last flight of the Boeing 727 being donated by FedEX Express to St. Louis Downtown Airport and official transfer of the aircraft. The event will feature a water arch salute upon arrival of the aircraft, which will be open for tours following the ceremony.
WHEN: Friday, April 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
WHERE: St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Station
6100 Archview Drive
Cahokia, IL 62206-1445
SIGNIFICANCE: Following its last flight, the Boeing 727-200F aircraft operated for 20 years by FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), will be donated to St. Louis Downtown Airport to be put to good use in retirement. The aircraft will be repurposed for use by the St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department to provide real-world training opportunities for area firefighters and other emergency response force personnel, while also serving as a classroom and a ground trainer for future pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians. Jet Aviation, which has a history of doing maintenance and repair work for the FedEx corporate fleet at its facilities at St. Louis Downtown Airport, will assist in preparing the aircraft for its new mission.
The pilot’s cockpit will remain intact as when the pilots step out of it Friday morning, but the plans call for the front half of the fuselage to be configured to allow for classroom-style presentations. Meanwhile, the rear half of the fuselage will be outfitted to contain a maze of hanging ropes, wires and other obstructions with cargo containers, boxes, and jumbled seats, in the midst of which the region’s firefighters and emergency responders will train.
“Our airport fire department continues to lead the way in safety and training initiatives, and this fabulous training tool will enable us to provide valuable, hands-on experience that is rarely available anywhere,” noted John Nations, President and CEO of Bi-State Development Agency/Metro (BSDA/Metro), which owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport. “We greatly appreciate this generous donation by FedEX Express and Jet Aviation’s assistance in handling the aircraft and helping to prepare it for its final use.”
Upon completion of the work, the Boeing 727 will be the centerpiece of a training site to be located on the northwest side of the airport, which also will include smaller general aviation aircraft and other hands-on training aids.
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services.
With annual revenues of $44 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
About Bi-State Development Agency/Metro
The Bi-State Development Agency/Metro (BSDA/Metro) is the operator of the Metro public transportation system for the St. Louis region, which includes the 87 vehicle, 46-mile MetroLink light rail system; 374 MetroBus vehicle fleet that operates on 75 MetroBus routes; and Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 121 vans.
BSDA/Metro also owns and operates St. Louis Downtown Airport and surrounding industrial business park, and the Gateway Arch Riverboats, as well as operates the Gateway Arch Revenue Collections Center, the Gateway Arch Transportation System (trams), and the Gateway Arch Parking Facility.