Feb 15, 2022 - News

Top Des Moines Airport users aren't from the city

An illustration of airplanes.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Most of the travelers using Des Moines International Airport hail from areas outside the city, according to a late 2018 analysis conducted for the airport authority.

Why it matters: Airport officials are citing the data in calls for Des Moines' surrounding areas to contribute to a nearly $576 million terminal expansion.

By the numbers: Almost 60% of the airport's 3.4 million passengers in the second quarter of 2018 came from within a 90-mile area, according to the analysis of the most recent publicly available data.

  • Residents from nine suburban ZIP codes topped the list, accounting for more than 254,000 passengers.

Catch up fast: The airport's terminal construction is slated to begin in 2024, and a parking garage expansion could begin as early as next year, Clint Torp, the airport's operations director, told Polk supervisors last month.

  • Airport spokesperson Kayla Kovarna told Axios metro-area governments are being asked to contribute $34 million. They've agreed to just over $28 million so far.
  • State and federal grants will pay for $300 million with airport revenue and reserves picking up most of the rest.

Between the lines: Airport officials are reminding suburbs that the Des Moines Airport is a regional amenity with widespread benefit.

  • Local contributions are critical to leverage the federal grants.
Top DSM airport users
Data: Des Moines International Airport; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The following 15 city and county governments have agreed to contribute money to the new terminal project so far:

  • Altoona: $576,630
  • Ankeny: $2,020,650
  • Bondurant: $69,580
  • Clive: $517,260
  • Des Moines: $10 million
  • Grimes: $150,000
  • Indianola: $250,000
  • Norwalk: $250,000
  • Pleasant Hill: $100,000
  • Polk City: $49,610
  • Polk County: $10 million
  • Urbandale: $1,331,370
  • Waukee: $722,670
  • West Des Moines: $2 million
  • Windsor Heights: $48,090

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