Impacts of The Eastern Iowa Airport as a Regional Economic Asset

Jul 10, 2018

Air service is a critical regional economic development asset. Airport Director Marty Lenss emphasized this fact last month during The Eastern Iowa Airport's inaugural State of the Airport. Lenss shared updated economic impact results during the event, noting 3,435 jobs are supported by the Airport with estimated total wages at $171 million. Annual economic activity generated by the Airport and activities it supports totals $451 million.

The Eastern Iowa Airport broke its annual passenger record in 2017, serving 1.14 million total passengers, or 30 percent of Iowa's total passenger traffic. National competition between communities for sustainable, reliable and convenient air service has never been more intense. Success can only be achieved with focused regional efforts and the willingness by area businesses, community leaders and governmental units to invest in their local air service. The Economic Alliance is committed to supporting The Eastern Iowa Aiport, so last year we agreed to Fly Local.

The Eastern Iowa Airport “Market Analysis & Catchment Study” highlighted significant potential to attract additional passengers to CID in order to achieve and sustain reliable improvements in air service for the region. The study noted a “True Market” size of 1.75 million air passengers – or 14 percent of the Airport's primary market – leak to a competing airport, like Des Moines or Chicago. By maintaining the 86 percent of the market that currently flies with The Eastern Iowa Airport and capturing a portion of the 14 percent of those who travel to a competing airport, the Airport would further enhance their ability to increase flight frequencies, improve the reliability of existing service and boost the potential of increasing the number of nonstop cities served to/from the Airport.We encourage our members to look at the hidden costs of employees flying out of competing airports, like the cost of gas, rental car fees, staff time spent driving, hotels, etc. and consider committing to our region's airport and signing the Fly Local pledge as well. Regional business and community leaders must come together if they are to provide meaningful improvements in service.

Consider joining the Economic Alliance and 18 other businesses and organizations and make a commitment to Fly Local today by contacting Airport Director Marty Lenss at

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