Des Moines Airport Continues Runway Projects as Travelers Return

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The 286,000 people who flew in and out of Des Moines International Aiport in July were just short of pre-COVID pandemic passenger numbers--a slight step-back from the month before.

"June surpassed our pre-COVID pandemic numbers, and really what we're seeing is that 2022 is just a really strong year for air travel. We have all that pent-up demand, especially on the leisure travel side," says airport spokesperson Kayla Kovarna.

She says passenger traffic at the airport has increased at the same time runway reconstruction projects are being done.

"Construction on Runway 523 is underway--and we're expecting that to be done by the end of November-- and then we only have one phase left in our overall total reconstruction of both runways here at Des Moines International Airport," Kovarna says.

She says that last phase will rebuild the area where the airport's two runways cross each other.

"We have an intersection that we need to reconstruct. That's going to be a big operation next year--we're actually in the spring going to be adding an extension to one of the runways because when we take out that intersection our runways are shortened. We're going to add that extension so we can remain fully operational," Kovarna says.

She says it will take 30 to 40 days to rebuilt that runway intersection.

As for the airport's other big construction project, Kovarna says the airport board's still looking for funds to rebuild the terminal. She says they're still in the design phase for the new building.

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