Des Moines International Airport is located 5km away from Des Moines city in Polk County, USA. It is spread over 2,625 acres of land.
Opened in the 1930s, it is a hub for airline operators such as Midwest Airlines, Allegiant Air, Delta, American Eagle, United Airlines, Continental Express, Comair and US Airways.
The airport handled passenger traffic of 1.83 million people and recorded 83,744 aircraft operations in 2010. It also handled 125.3 million pounds of cargo in 2010.
Master plan for Des Moines Airport
An updated master plan of the airport was prepared in 1995 by Coffman Associates.
It envisaged construction of a new parallel runway and recommended relocation of general aviation to the west side of the airfield.
It also recommended increasing air cargo ramp and acquisition of land around the runway protection zones for noise and operational safety.
Expansion of runways at Des Moines
The third parallel runway construction at the airport is expected to start in 2012 at an estimated investment of $40m. It is scheduled to be opened by 2016. The runway will be about 6,500ft long. It will be extended to 9,000ft in future.
The airport received a grant of $855,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in March 2010 for the third runway construction.
In May 2011 the FAA released $2.3m to buy land for the third runway construction.
In April 2009, $6m interior renovation work was initiated at the airport. It included adding a restroom to concourse C, and improving baggage handling capabilities and fire sprinkler systems.
In 2005, Logplan was awarded the contract to design long term baggage screening system solutions at the airport.
Terminal features at Iowa’s Des Moines International Airport
The airport has a two-level passenger terminal with two concourses namely A and C. Security screening is located at the upper level. Baggage area and airline ticket counters are located at the lower level.
The terminal facilities include 13 gates, 11 air bridges, three baggage claim belts, a post office and restaurants. It also includes a VIP Lounge, business centre, gift shop, car rental offices, taxi service and facilities for the disabled.
The airport has two cargo terminals with a capacity of 210,000t (462.96 million pounds).
The airport has two runways. The first runway (5/23) is 2,744m in length and paved with asphalt and concrete. The second runway (13/31) is also 2,744m in length and paved with asphalt.
The airport has four types of parking lots, which are categorised as short term, long term, economy and airport 2. It provides more than 300 short-term and 2,600 long-term parking spaces. The short-term parking spaces are located in the ground floor of the north parking ramp.
Des Moines International ground transportation
The airport has numerous ground transportation facilities available.
Regular local buses from the airport to the city are provided by Des Moines metro transit authority. Transport from the airport to the surrounding areas is provided by Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency.
Capitol Cab and Yellow Cab Companies offer the taxi services at the airport. Majestic Limousine and Executive Limousine provide limousine services at the airport. Offices of the car rental companies such as Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty are located at the baggage claim area of the terminal.
On 2 December 1978 Douglas C-47A-20-DK flight belonging to SAB Stage Line crashed 300ft short of the runway.
The reason for the crash was windshield icing which blocked the visibility of pilots. Two pilots were on board at the time of the accident.
In December 2007, a United Express plane slid off the taxiway due to the winter storm. All the 44 passengers on board were safe, but the airport had to be closed for seven hours.