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Regional Advocacy Efforts Provide Results

April 7, 2023 | Business Support, Public Policy

In March, the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID), which handles 50 percent of the state’s air cargo and is and is the second largest commercial service airport, broke ground on the final phase of its terminal modernization project. Investing in our transportation systems increases the economic growth, vitality and global competitiveness of our region, and is why we continue on-going advocacy for funding and policies that support CID.

The global pandemic caused a significant drop in the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) revenues. Nearly 84% of the airport’s revenue is derived from air passenger traffic. The revenue reduction included landing fees, parking, restaurants and passenger facility charges (PFCs). This decrease in revenues negatively impacts CID’s ability to fund current, as well as future projects, vital to the region, and state of Iowa.

Thanks to the efforts by CID Director Marty Lenss, and with the support of numerous Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance (Economic Alliance) member businesses, non-profits, school and municipal leaders throughout the region, CID was awarded over $28 million of funds from the Iowa Commercial Aviation Infrastructure Fund (ICAIF). The $100 million ICAIF program, originating from funds distributed to Iowa through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), was created by Governor Reynolds last year to be distributed among Iowa’s eight commercial service airports. It was these funds, along with other funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and CID Airport Commission funds, that allowed for the construction of the final phase of the terminal modernization project to begin.

The heart of the Economic Alliance’s work is centered around the vision to be the top economic growth region in the country. Furthermore, we know that in addition to taxes and workforce, business leaders make relocation and expansion decisions based on access to commercial airports. Advocating for this regional economic driver, through our Public Policy priorities and efforts, directly ties to the economic health of our region.

To learn more about the Economic Alliance’s involvement in Public Policy and how to get involved, connect with our Public Policy Strategist, Barbra Solberg, at