Sep 21, 2023 - Business

How Des Moines airport executive director Kevin Foley starts his day

Kevin Foley

Photo: Courtesy of Des Moines airport

Des Moines airport executive director Kevin Foley is busier than ever managing a bustling airport that's outgrown its 75-year-old infrastructure.

Why it matters: Passenger traffic has roared back, showing the need for expansion to accommodate more flights and expedite lines.

  • In August, DSM had a 10% increase in passengers — nearly 280K additional people — compared to the same period in 2019.

Driving the news: The big task on Foley's agenda is overseeing needed renovations and a new terminal.

  • On Tuesday, the Polk County Board of Supervisors approved putting a $350 million bond referendum on Nov. 7 ballots.
  • The funds would help build a new terminal, which would add 15 aircraft gates, more security screening lanes and improve baggage handling. It would not raise property taxes.

What they're saying: "We're just literally out of room … and there's no way to expand those concourses the way the terminals [are] laid out," Foley says.

Here's how Foley starts his busy days:

⏰ Wake up: 5:45am. He's at the airport no later than 7:30am.

🍳 Breakfast: Orange juice, a banana and a breakfast bar.

📚 What he's reading: Emails for an hour, then at least 45 minutes reading industry-specific news — especially now as a government shutdown looms.

✈️ His must-have for flights: A knit pillow. "I can fall asleep on the airplane before we ever reach the runway."

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more