116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The addition of an aircraft boarding bridge to the lower concourse at The Eastern Iowa Airport should be welcome by travelers.
Passengers using the B concourse have been required to walk across the tarmac when boarding and leaving aircraft, exposing them to the elements.
The new boarding bridge will have a 'switchback” ramp to bring passengers to the boarding level of an aircraft. It will be similar to the boarding bridges travelers use on the upper C concourse at the airport.
The Cedar Rapids Airport Commission earlier this year approved the replacement of the aging C concourse boarding bridges as well as the purchase of an additional unit for the B concourse.
The $46 million remodeling of the airport passenger terminal includes an expansion of the B concourse planned for 2017. It will add two permanent boarding bridges, which should relieve congestion on the C concourse.
Aircraft arriving at certain times have needed to wait on the tarmac until an open gate is available. Airlines with planes remaining at the airport for flights the next morning are parked at gates. That prevents another aircraft from using the gate.
The addition of the new B concourse boarding bridge should provide some relief.
The new boarding bridge installation occurred as contractors are working to complete exterior changes to the passenger terminal by next Thursday. The next phase of the five-year terminal remodeling project will not begin until April 2015 to avoid disruption during the spring break travel period.
The latter phase will involve significant changes to the interior of the passenger terminal. The ticketing, waiting, and baggage claim areas will be remodeled to improve passenger circulation and operation.
The Eastern Iowa Airport is paying for the overall terminal revamp with state and federal grants, as well as passenger facility charge revenues. The airport, which does not get any property tax revenue, will not incur any additional debt.