Iowa’s newest airport is coming closer to being a reality. The western side of the fast-growing Des Moines metro area has been mentioned for several years as a site for a new landing strip, according to Clive city manager Dennis Henderson. He says it ends up being an economic-development issue, to attract and keep businesses that have their people doing a lot of flying on corporate aircraft. The demand for air travel in central Iowa’s spurred a new airport within the past couple decades, and that general-aviation airport at Ankeny has grown by leaps and bounds. Henderson says for businesses, it’s a way to save time and have their staff do more business, saving money and increasing their productivity. Henderson says Dallas County is the logical area for the next new airport, though he explains it would not be an “air-park,” a private strip surrounded by housing and personal hangars. He says if it’s done, it will be a regional effort and likely will have commercial development around the airport. While private pilots are likely to find hangars they can rent to keep a plane, Henderson says it will be mainly oriented toward business travelers and company planes, not so much a recreational airport…and no grass strip for old-fashioned “taildraggers.” The site being examined for the project is between Waukee and Adel. The feasibility study and master planning process will be done around the end of the year and then it will be time for the various local governments to talk over how they might participate in a regional airport authority.
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