Eastern Iowa Airport Sees Double-digit Passenger Growth

By George C. Ford, Reporter

The Eastern Iowa Airport, Cedar Rapids, Iowa aerial stock photo, terminal

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By Liz Blood

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - After experiencing months of double-digit passenger growth, The Eastern Iowa Airport is closing in on levels not seen since the economy slid into recession.

Passenger travel is up 13,9 percent year over year since January with more than 40,000 additional travelers through the end of October. Airport Director Tim Bradshaw believes the airport will see 500,000 passengers flying out of Cedar Rapids by the end of the year, the first time it has hit that mark since 2007.

"This is excellent news for travelers as we also continue to add more flights and seats to the market," Bradshaw said.

Five airlines serve Cedar Rapids, providing nonstop service to 11 destinations.

The Eastern Iowa Airport is working on updating its strategic master plan to identify facility improvements needed for a continued increase in passenger traffic. Preliminary plans include additional concourse space and updated terminal space.

The airport also is experiencing strong growth in air cargo with 23.3 million pounds enplaned through Oct. 31, up 12.9 percent from 20.6 million pounds in the first 10 months of 2011. Air cargo also dropped off after the economy entered the recession, but has picked up markedly this year.

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