DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines International Airport just received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to continue rehabilitating the runway.
The grant gives the airport about $5 million for runway rehabilitation and about $600,000 for a taxiway rehabilitation.
“At the completion of 2019 construction season, that runway will be completely reconstructed with the exception of the intersection and we are still trying to figure out how to complete that intersection because it crosses both runways and will shorten both runways,” Des Moines International Airport Executive Director Kevin Foley said.
Foley said the runway has to be completed before they can focus all of their attention on a new terminal they’ve been talking about for years.
“So the runway, it’s a safety issue. That’s what makes us an airport, are safe runways. And so they have to be completed before we can focus all of our attention on just the terminal project, but that said, we are in progress on the terminal project,” Foley said.
Foley said they are running out of space in the new terminal and approved an updated plan in the board meeting yesterday.
“Initially 14 aircraft gates on the new terminal. It could be expanded then to 18 gates and ultimately, if it needed to be, it could be expanded to a total of 23 gates. Today we have 12 gates that are improperly spaced. In other words we can only get the smaller RJ Aircrafts on our gates,” Foley said.
Some Des Moines residents think the airport should expand saying the city is growing and should accommodate that.
Others said it doesn’t need to get any bigger.
“Every time I’ve gone through the lines have been pretty quick and stuff. And I’ve only been like 20 minutes getting to my gate. So I don’t really know if it needs expansion if it’s not too crowded and busy yet,” Robert Domalewski said.
Foley said more and more people are traveling through Des Moines every year and the board voted on a new tag line that represents that.
”It’s Des Moines International Airport, Iowa to Anywhere.” And it’s just trying to relay the message that we have 21 non-stop destinations out of Des Moines and we are the connection to the world for the state of Iowa,” Foley said.
Foley said design of the new terminal will start in 2024, construction will start in 2026 and completed in 2028.