The head of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s aviation office says Iowa airports need more hangers. Eight airports in Iowa offer commercial flights. The other 103 airports have seen a steady increase in traffic, but Michelle McEnany, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s aviation office, says one damper on the growth of those smaller airports is a lack of covered parking space for planes.
"What we’re hearing from the aviation community is that they have aircraft on waiting lists and the aircraft aren’t coming to their airport because they don’t have those hangers," McEnany says. "The state right now invests $750,000 in hangers. Well, an average hanger costs about $300,000. That means we can invest in two, maybe three hangers a year."
In addition to hanger space, Tim Busch of Cedar Rapids, head of the Iowa Aviation Promotion Group, says it’s time to upgrade the terminal buildings at smaller airports where passengers wait for flights or pass through on their way off a flight.
"They’ve just been around for decades and they’re in need of upgrade, get some new things in there and that is also kind of the face for a community when a business person comes in from outside and wants to develop there," Busch says. "It’s the first thing they see." Busch and McEnany made their comments on "The Iowa Journal" on Iowa Public Television.