APRIL 15, 2020 | MOLINE, ILLINOIS - The Quad City International Airport will get an $8 million slice of the federal stimulus package that designated $10 billion to U.S. airports. With passenger travel down around 90% nationwide, airports are expected to lose billions in revenue. The CARES Act funding will help ensure airports can continue to provide critical infrastructure, allowing for the transport of goods, supplies and essential personnel.
Benjamin Leischner, A.A.E., executive director of QCIA credits Illinois’ representatives for helping to secure the funding for Moline. “I am grateful for the support of Congresswoman Bustos, and Senators Durbin and Duckworth for their ongoing support. We know the long-term impact will be substantial and slow to recover. We feel fortunate that our representatives understand the importance of our state’s aviation industry and continue to be advocates.”
Prior to the outbreak, the airport had several projects in progress, including partnering with an air service development firm, and selecting a design firm to modernize the landside terminal. Other customer-focused amenities were mere weeks away from launching, including adding valet parking and beginning construction on solar paneled covered parking structures.
“We are still moving forward with our plans - much of the funding for these projects was already coming from the FAA and other federal grants but the way we approach them and the timing has changed,” said Leischner. “We are assessing our greatest needs, pressing pause on certain projects that depend on customer traffic and tackling other projects that maybe we hadn’t considered a priority but now make perfect sense to complete with fewer passengers, such as repainting parking lots.”
The airport has also remained employee-focused, keeping all of its direct employees employed and instituting progressive sick leave policies. The airport has nearly 100 direct employees.
“We know this is a scary time for people and it is important to us that our employees feel safe and supported,” said Jo Johnson-Meineke, director of human resources and risk management. “Our HR staff is staying up-to-date on the evolving federal and state policies, and remains available to any of our employees who may have questions or unique needs.”
The Quad City International Airport remains open and operational for essential travel. Routes may be reduced or canceled so passengers needing to travel are encouraged to stay in contact with their airline. Increased cleaning and social distancing measures have been put in place in accordance with CDC guidelines.
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