Business

Eastern Iowa Airport to buy 45 acres near prospective third runway

Cedar Rapids Airport Commission members voted unanimously earlier this month to approve sales agreements for 45.17 acres of agricultural land, located east of the airport on Wright Brothers Boulevard SW, next to the Iowa National Guard Armory, for $1.02 million, and on August 26, 2019, are poised to approve warranty deeds for the properties and recommend them to the Cedar Rapids City Council. (Courtesy of Eastern Iowa Airport)
Cedar Rapids Airport Commission members voted unanimously earlier this month to approve sales agreements for 45.17 acres of agricultural land, located east of the airport on Wright Brothers Boulevard SW, next to the Iowa National Guard Armory, for $1.02 million, and on August 26, 2019, are poised to approve warranty deeds for the properties and recommend them to the Cedar Rapids City Council. (Courtesy of Eastern Iowa Airport)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Airport Commission is on track to purchase two vacant parcels totaling 45.17 acres and, for now, preserve the land for agricultural production.

Commission members voted unanimously earlier this month to approve sales agreements for the land, east of the airport on Wright Brothers Boulevard SW, next to the Iowa National Guard Armory, at a price of $22,500 an acre, or $1.02 million total.

At its upcoming Monday meeting, the commission is poised to approve warranty deeds for the properties and recommend them to the Cedar Rapids City Council.

The Eastern Iowa Airport currently owns just shy of 2,000 agricultural acres and intends to roll the new parcels into that portfolio, said Airport Director Marty Lenss.

Though the airport’s immediate plans are to keep the land as is, he said, it could be subject to discussion for future development.

The parcels also is close to land where a third runway could one day be built, should the airport’s growth create that need, Lenss said.

“Owning the land off the end of the runway makes a lot of sense” in that the airport can ensure compatible development there and protect the airspace nearby, he said.

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According to its master plan, the airport historically has reserved space north of Wright Brothers Boulevard SW for a potential third runway, parallel to its existing Runway 9/27, to increase airfield capacity once aircraft operations expand to the point of causing “unacceptable” delays.

“Aircraft operations at the Airport are not expected to reach these capacity-constrained levels within the 20-year planning period,” the 2013 document reads. “However, prudent planning dictates that space should continue to be reserved for this runway in the event that operations increase at a more rapid rate than projected by activity forecasts.”

The Eastern Iowa Airport is owned by the city of Cedar Rapids but does not receive any city or county property tax revenue. Its funding comes from sources including airline revenues, terminal concessions and ground and facility leases.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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