Airport Parking Rates Rising to Pay for Repairs

By George C. Ford, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Parking rates at The Eastern Iowa Airport will rise May 1 to help pay for $10.7 million worth of parking lot and pavement repairs slated to begin late this summer.

The increase, the first since 2001, will raise long-term parking rates from $5 per day to $6 per day and short-term parking from $7 per day to $9 per day.

"We took the matter of raising rates very seriously," Airport Director Tim Bradshaw said. "We determined that this nominal increase will help offset our expenses and allow us to continue to provide the cheapest parking rates for airports in the region while not overburdening our guests.

"We have a significant amount of concrete in the public parking lot that is 30 years old. With the amount of traffic and the extreme weather we see in Iowa, it is just beyond its useful life."

Quad City International in Moline, Ill., charges $15 per day for short-term parking and $7 per day for long-term parking. Des Moines International charges $24 per day for short-term parking and $12 per day for long-term parking, with economy lots offering lower rates that require a shuttle.

Bradshaw said the five-year pavement and parking lot repair and replacement project is based on the findings of a study of the airport's landside vehicular pavement conducted last fall by Foth Foth Infrastructure & Environment.

The project will involve pouring new concrete in those sections that need reconstructed, rehabilitating areas that have more useful life, and preventative maintenance on newer areas of the parking lot. The higher parking rates will raise an additional $815,000 per year.

Although the airport is owned by the City of Cedar Rapids, it does not receive any property tax revenue. The regional facility derives its funding from airline revenues, terminal concessions, ground and facility leases, landing fees, ramp fees, parking revenue and farmland rental.
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