Airport Asks for Public Input on Expansion Project

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Plans for a new airport terminal in Des Moines are almost finalized. The Des Moines International Airport just needs input from the public. There is an open, public meeting Wednesday 28th where planning consultants will present their findings and recommendations for the proposed new terminal.

The public meeting is at 5:30 P.M. in the Cloud Room on the second floor of the airport. The Des Moines International Airport has been planning a total reconstruction of the airport for more than 18 months and will present the final project in a board meeting on April 10th. 

"We have some things on the airport that post 9/11 aren’t quite as set up as they should be. We have a general aviation ramp where private airplanes come in and out and it’s contiguous to a commercial ramp and we should have a separation there for security reasons," Des Moines Airport Executive Director Kevin Foley said.

Foley said they are looking for things to either downsize or cut completely from the project to save money. He said things such as administration offices have already been eliminated to bring down the total cost of the project from $500 million to $430 million.

Foley said every year since 2009, airport traffic has increased 5%.

“We’re trying to run a lot more people through a facility that was built in 1948, it was expanded several times but we can’t expand it anymore we’re running into air space restrictions and restrictions out on the air field, out on the air side of things," Foley said.

To accommodate the surge in passengers the airport recently added new restaurants and gift shops.

“As long as we’re in this facility we’re going to keep the passenger experience the best that we can possibly make it and that’s why we spent the dollars that we spent on the restaurants and the news and gift areas. The return on investment on that will be about 10 years," Foley said.

If the project is passed, Foley expects it would not be completed for another ten years.