Updated Mar 16, 2022 - News

Gov. Kim Reynolds announces $100M in airport grants

Illustration of Ben Franklin looking out of a plane window.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Iowa's eight commercial airports are eligible for $100 million in infrastructure grants, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: DSM is eligible for $58.7 million, Des Moines International Airport director Kevin Foley wrote in an email to dozens of metro and county officials earlier this week.

  • The airport has been seeking funding for a $576 million terminal expansion project, which is slated to begin construction as early as 2024.

Catch up fast: The existing DSM terminal building, which was constructed in 1948, is near the end of its useful economic life, according to studies conducted for the airport authority.

  • A new terminal will alleviate wait times and attract more commercial flights, which, per airport officials, are vital to central Iowa's economic development.
  • Metro-area governments have so far agreed to contribute more than $28 million of a $34 million project goal.
  • State and federal grants are anticipated to pay for $300 million with airport revenue and reserves picking up the rest.

State of play: The grant announced Wednesday is considered a one-time allocation using federal money Iowa received from the American Rescue Plan.

  • Most of the money will allocated based on 2019 passenger numbers.

What we're watching: How inflation factors into DSM's project plans.

  • Construction costs have spiked in recent months with some local projects running more than 30% above earlier projections.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include details from Gov. Reynolds' announcement Wednesday.

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