The Eastern Iowa Airport has received an $8.8 million Federal Aviation Administration discretionary grant to relocate and expand its cargo operation, positioning CID to handle even more of the state’s cargo demands.

The grant – the largest discretionary grant CID has ever received in one year – is part of the federal government’s Supplemental Appropriations funds made possible by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (R) confirmed receipt of the grant today.

Total project cost is $10.3 million. The Federal portion is $8.8 million and the Cedar Rapids Airport Commission will fund $1.5 million of the project.

The project will relocate CID’s air cargo operations from the east apron to the west side of the airport property, adjacent to the FedEx facility. The new apron will be joint-use, meaning existing and potential new air cargo carriers will be able to use the apron. Three air cargo carriers serve: CID DHL, FedEx and UPS.

Marty Lenss, airport director, says this project will be transformational for CID.

“Year-to-date air cargo volume at CID is up 22 percent,” he says. “We currently handle 45 percent of the state’s cargo volume and based on projections, that percentage will increase to 48 percent by the end of 2018.”

Nationally, e-commerce and next day delivery is growing rapidly and CID is uniquely positioned to grow freight, Lenss says.

“The region’s superior geographic location provides us the ability to serve 11 million more people with a one-day Department of Transportation drive time than any place along the I35/I80 corridor,” he says.

In addition to expanding the west cargo apron area, the project will include construction of a connecting taxiway. This will allow the airport to construct a joint-use cargo center, improving CID’s ability to expand both passenger and cargo capacity.

Lenss says moving the cargo operations from its current location adjacent to the passenger terminal will free up valuable apron space to accommodate future growth for commercial passenger service and the airlines’ increasing use of larger aircraft.

CID has broken its monthly passenger records for seven consecutive months, including August when 102,794 total passengers used CID. That number is 5.8 percent more than the previous August record posted in 2014. Year-to-date passenger traffic is up 5.1 percent over the same time period last year.

Lenss extended thanks to Sen. Grassley and Foth Infrastructure & Environmental, LLC in Cedar Rapids, CID’s engineering contractor. Requests for bids on the project were finalized in August; seven bids were received. Flynn Company, Inc. of Dubuque, Iowa was awarded the project, pending approval of the grant.

Ground breaking for the cargo apron expansion is set for 10 a.m., Wed., Oct. 3.


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