Using federal COVID money for airports is a good move | News, Sports, Jobs

Fort Dodge Regional Airport is set to make much needed upgrades that will be made without spending local property tax dollars.

The airport is eligible for $1,585,761 from the Iowa Commercial Aviation Infrastructure Fund. This money will be spent to build new hangars to house aircraft.

The state fund has that money for Fort Dodge, along with millions more for seven other commercial service airports in Iowa, as Governor Kim Reynolds deposited $100 million in federal relief money there. COVID. The high-dollar federal COVID relief programs have many critics, but this is one case in which area residents will see some results from that spending.

Most local residents don’t have planes that need hangar space, so they won’t directly benefit from this investment. But the planned new sheds will be a part of helping the community thrive, and it will help residents in the long run.

Here’s how Rhonda Chambers, the airport’s director of aviation, explained it:

“The new hangars can attract new businesses to our region that use aviation in their business plan. Aircraft hangars are also necessary for business aircraft in transit, as these companies visit our region for new development opportunities or to retain existing businesses.

The airport has several hangars, but many were built in the 1960s and 1970s and are showing their age. One of them will have to be demolished.

The airport plans to build three 60-by-60-foot hangars. A second phase of this plan includes four more 60-by-60-foot hangars.

We think it’s a solid plan, and spending nearly $1.6 million in COVID relief money is a good way to fund it.

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