The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is an essential strategic economic engine for the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor and the border regions of Illinois and Wisconsin. Air service is a critical element that must be integrated into regional economic development discussions such as the Creative Corridor Regional Vision Strategy.
According to a 2009 Iowa Office of Aviation Economic Impact study, there are 2,695 jobs supported by The Eastern Iowa Airport. Jobs tied to CID have an estimated annual payroll of $94.7 million. Annual economic activity generated by the airport and activities it supports totals $223.9 million.
National competition between communities for sustainable, reliable and convenient air service has never been more intense. Regional business and community leaders must come together if they are to provide meaningful improvements in service. This travel policy is provided to regional employers, local governmental entities and business leaders for their consideration in implementing air service travel policies and guidelines promoting the use of air service through CID.
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% of CID’s primary market – leak to a competing airport. Today, the region has nonstop service to/from 14 destinations: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles*, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando/Sanford, Orlando International, Phoenix/Mesa, Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers, and Tampa/St. Petersburg. By maintaining the 86% percent of the market that currently flies CID, and capturing a portion of the 14 percent of those who travel to a competing airport, we would further enhance our ability to increase flight frequencies, improve the reliability of existing service and boost our potential of increasing the number of nonstop cities served to/from CID.
However, 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. This investment is best demonstrated by adopting a travel guideline that supports the use of air service at CID.