116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Eastern Iowa Airport reported its 10th straight record passenger month in September, despite canceled flights to and from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport late in the month.
Heather Wilson, director of marketing and communications, told members of the Cedar Rapids Airport Commission on Monday that 86,497 travelers used the airport last month, topping the previous September record of 81,566 in September 2007.
More than 650 flights were canceled and another 500 were delayed after an Illinois air traffic control center shutdown following a fire and attempted suicide on Sept. 26.
Wilson told the commissioners that 43,497 passengers flew out of the airport in September, a 6.4 percent increase from 40,882 in September 2013. For the year, 426,136 passengers have boarded planes in Cedar Rapids — up 9.3 percent from 389,792 through Sept. 30, 2013.
Wilson said the number of passengers boarding planes in 2014 is expected to exceed the projection of 520,000 for 2016 that was included in the airport's 2013 master plan.
'A projection of 572,529 passengers based on nine months of actual and trend analysis seems a little high,' Wilson said. 'A more conservative projection would be 560,000 passengers.'
Interim Airport Director Don Swanson said the higher-than-projected level of passenger traffic will increase revenue from passenger facility charges.
'It also provides further validation for our plans to expand the security checkpoint in the terminal,' Swanson said.
Matt Dubbe of Mead & Hunt in Minneapolis told the commission that bid documents for the second phase of the terminal project should be ready for approval in December. Dubbe said construction, which will include the security checkpoint expansion, should take about 14 months to complete.
The airport is using federal and state grants as well as passenger facility charge revenue to pay for the modernization project. It is not incurring any debt, and there will be no increase in fees paid by passengers or the airlines.