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Quad Cities International Airport Gets More Than $13 Million in Grants

The Quad Cities International Airport has received more than $13 million in federal relief and safety upgrade funds in the last few weeks.

Quad Cities International Airport Gets More Than $13 Million in Grants

Ben Leischner is executive director of the Q-C airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded $8.57 million to the Moline airport for construction on taxiways and runway 5/23. This project will eliminate the intersection of three runways which will increase safety and efficiency, and reduce risk for aircraft operations.

The Q-C Airport is among a small number of airports in the U.S. with three runways intersecting at a single point. The 5,000-foot runway will be shortened by 2,000 feet and taxiways will be realigned. Runways 9/27 and 13/31, 10,000 feet and 7,000 feet respectively, will remain.

“I want to thank our elected representatives – Senators Durbin and Duckworth, and Representative Bustos – for their ongoing support for Illinois’ airports, and the Quad Cities International Airport,” airport executive director Benjamin Leischner said in a release. “This funding allows us to make critical improvements which in turn supports commercial air travel and keeps supply chains moving through our cargo facilities.”

Through the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan, this project is funded 100% with Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding. The AIP program supports airport improvements related to enhancing airport safety, capacity, security and environmental concerns. In total, the FAA awarded $845 million in airport grants which will fund projects at 388 airports in 49 states.

Construction will begin spring 2022 and will not impact passenger flights.

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The airport also will receive approximately $4.67 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Rescue Grants.

These grants were part of the American Rescue Plan Act that was signed by the Biden administration in March. Similar to the previous

Quad Cities International Airport Gets More Than $13 Million in Grants

The Quad Cities International Airport has recently received over $13 million in grants.

CARES Act and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) grants, the funding is designated for operational expenses including payroll support, construction projects and debt service. It also includes $300,000 for rent relief from concessionaires.

“While we are seeing tremendous progress in passenger recovery, there is a long road ahead to financial recovery,” Leischner said. “After 15 months and counting of depressed traffic, this funding ensures we can keep our entire staff employed and work toward a brighter future.”

Despite at one point seeing a 95% decline in traffic, the airport kept financial losses below 35% for the 2021 fiscal year. This is in large part due to work that was completed prior to the pandemic to diversify revenue streams. The finance department has also been fastidious in seeking available grants and forecasting to manage the ongoing decline in revenue, the airport release said.

“Our finance department deserves a tremendous amount of praise – they’ve worked incredibly hard to lessen the impact of Covid-19,” said Leischner. “After what could have, and by all accounts should have, been a devastating year, we’ve been able to keep staff employed throughout the pandemic and reinvest in our facilities to prepare for the return of travel.”

The Q-C Airport received $8 million from the CARES Act, $2.8 million from CRRSSA and $660,000 from the Payroll Support Program for QCIA Airport Services, LLC — which provides ground handling and fueling services at the airport.

For more information, visit www.qcairport.com.

Quad Cities International Airport Gets More Than $13 Million in Grants

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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.
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