Eastern Iowa Airport holds State of Your Airport event marking 75-year history with a look to the future

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 4:31 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -More than 200 people gathered at the Eastern Iowa Airport Thursday for the second ever ‘State of Your Airport’ event. They celebrated the airport’s 75-year history while taking a look at the future.

The airport is on track to see the second most passengers in its history this year.

“It’s easy to be dropped off at departure, and arrivals, it’s easy to be picked up here. If you need a last-second cup of coffee or a bite to eat or something it’s got a lovely restaurant or shops,” said Linda Wright, a passenger traveling through the airport Wednesday.

Passengers like Wright are enjoying new amenities and updates, which began to take shape in 2014 with the launch of the terminal modernization project. The fourth and final phase of that project is being designed now, after pausing for the pandemic.

Leaders gave an update on the project at the State of Your Airport event.

“Aircraft are getting larger so we have additional gates, seating at the end,” Airport Director Marty Lenss pointed out.

As the industry alters, speakers said facilities should to. And while airports face a series of modern-day challenges like higher fuel prices and workforce shortages, a partnership with Kirkwood aims to create more aircraft technicians with a new class expected to launch next fall.

”These are really really good jobs and I just feel really excited for our students,” Kirkwood Community College President Lori Sundberg said during a video played at the event.

It comes as Michael Boyd, the President and CEO of Boyd Aviation said more business is moving to the Midwest. It’s something he says will drive the demand for more air traffic.

”They’re going to go places where they can make money and have a good quality of life, Iowa apparently fits that bill,” Boyd explained.

The Eastern Iowa Airport gained a nonstop flight during the pandemic, while many airports lost carriers. It’s something airport leaders say is a good sign as airlines continue to invest in the area.

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