Des Moines International Airport Terminal 2022 Update
The DSM USA Policy HQ podcast is a monthly conversation between experts on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector.
In this installment of the DSM USA Policy HQ podcast, Kevin Foley, Executive Director of the Des Moines International Airport, and Kirk Leeds, CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association, discuss the need for a new terminal at the airport. As one of the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s 2022 strategic initiatives, the terminal project is a priority as the region looks to meet the needs of business and leisure travelers in Greater Des Moines (DSM).
DSM Airport Terminal
The Des Moines International Airport terminal is a 1948 facility that has lasted beyond its years. It has several challenges, including:
- Overcrowding during peak periods
- Limited aircraft parking surrounding the terminal
Business + Leisure Travel
Hybrid leisure travel, a mix of business travel and leisure travel, is on the rise as travelers combine leisure trips with work trips and this is one of the reasons that travel is back at 2019 levels. The terminal project, originally needing 14 gates, has grown to need 17 gates, with each gate costing an estimated $20 million. The inflation factor immediately bumped the cost of the terminal as well. Thanks to several contributions to the project, including the State of Iowa awarding $58.7 million and 20 communities and/or counties contributing around $28.6 million, the project will continue.
Leadership at businesses like the Iowa Soybean Association must speak to elected officials about the value of the project to convey its importance. Leeds discussed investing in air travel infrastructure and the importance of public-private partnerships that are streamlined and effective. While in his line of work, many want to see successful public-private partnerships, but it can be difficult for some to be willing to try new approaches. Foley discussed other projects running simultaneously to the airport terminal project, including the more than $200 million improvements to the runways, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the south side improvements, which have also cost the airport about $200 million as it gets ready for the terminal project.
Listen to the entire podcast above.
The DSM USA Policy HQ podcast focuses on public policy topics impacting business and the relationship between government and the private sector. Join us each month to hear from local Greater Des Moines (DSM) experts. To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here.