While Iowa leaders try to figure out how to keep people from leaving the state, Iowa’S airports have found a way to increase the freight that’s coming in. The Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation reports that airfreight movement in Iowa has outpaced the national rate in the last 20 years and increased nearly a 600 percent since 1980. Roy Criss says two airports have accounted for 99-percent of the increase. He says the Des Moines, and Eastern Iowa airport in Cedar Rapids, positioned themselves to handle more air cargo. Criss says Iowa’s position in the middle of the country is one of the keys to cargo. He says the highway system is also a key, as much of the cargo is offloaded and trucked across the country. Criss says in some ways bringing in more cargo also brings in more people — those hired to unload the material. He says that’s one of the economic benefits of flying more goods into the state. He says the air freight companies have had to add new buildings and aprons to handled the increased traffic. Criss says the improvements made to accommodate the air freight unfortunately aren’t something that benefits the hauling of passengers.
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