Airports around Iowa are seeing an increase in the number of passengers. Sioux City airport has increased ridership after adding another airline was added. The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids is reporting six record breaking months in a row for the number of passengers. And during the first half of the year, the Des Moines Airport has seen more than one-point-one million passengers go through its gates — which is ahead of last year’s pace.
Des Moines Airport Executive Director, Kevin Foley, says there are two main reasons more people are flying. “The economy is very strong right now in the state of Iowa, and aviation is directly tied to the economy. And the other is the increase in competition and specifically it increases competition in low-cost carriers like Southwest and ultra-low cost carriers like Allegiant,” Foley says.
Eastern Iowa Airport director, Tim Bradshaw, agrees with his counterpart in Des Moines that the economy is part of the reason for the increase. “The leisure traveler supports some of the airport’s market, but it’s really the business travelers, that’s really where air service really comes from,” Bradshaw says. “So the fact that the local economy in Iowa is doing extremely well is what’s driving the increase in passenger numbers.” Bradshaw says the airport is planning about 40 million dollars in expansion over the next four years. The Eastern Iowa Airport reports a record-breaking number of about 460-thousand travelers in the last six months.