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QC Airport unveils plans for major terminal renovation

March 30, 2021

The Quad Cities International Airport is getting a $20 million+ facelift. Several concepts were shared that include added amenities for passengers and represents the first major investment in the aging facility since 2001. The landside terminal, which includes ticketing and baggage claim, has not been updated since 1985.

“The travel industry has changed dramatically since 1985 but our airport has had to take a patchwork approach to keep up,” said Benjamin Leischner, A.A.E., executive director. “With the work being done to make the Quad Cities a destination for business and leisure, we want to create a future-focused terminal that will make our community proud and provide a world-class experience for travelers.”

Minneapolis-based Alliiance was selected as the design firm in early 2020. They have worked with airports around the world to create efficient spaces that incorporate beautiful design. Through a proprietary process, Alliiance engages with stakeholders to understand the region and bring the spirit of the community into the terminal.

Following is a summary of the future concepts that were unveiled March 30.

Curbside and ticketing

A redesigned curbside features a canopy to protect visitors from the elements. Once inside, the terminal will be flooded with bright, natural light. Walkways will be widened in the ticketing space and mobile check-in kiosks will be added. Baggage screening equipment will be moved out of sight with a conveyor belt running behind the ticket counters to speed up the check-in process.

Atrium and TSA Checkpoint 

The atrium concept features comfortable lounge seating and a redesigned retail, food and beverage space. The restrooms will be renovated, with the addition of a family restroom and a nursing suite. The TSA checkpoint will be widened so passengers going through the checkpoint as well as those arriving and going to baggage claim have plenty of space.

Indoor/Outdoor Space 

While the changes will be dramatic throughout the airport, perhaps the most visually stunning is the plan for an indoor/outdoor space near baggage claim. The garden area concept includes a water feature to evoke the pride Quad Citizens have for the Mississippi River. There will be seating and an outdoor space – something that’s becoming more commonplace for airports as the industry looks toward a post-COVID world. Many Quad Citizens will remember a time when they could come to the airport and watch the planes take off and land. This space will restore a viewing area for all to enjoy.


The airside of the terminal will see some improvements to connect it to the landside concepts. A nursing suite will be added to the airside of the airport alongside restroom renovations with the addition of another family restroom. Comfortable lounge seating and power sources will be added throughout the concourses.

The renovations will be funded through a mix of federal grants, cash-on-hand and debt service, if needed. Whenever possible, airport leaders have committed to using local contractors to complete the work.

In addition to the terminal redesign concepts, the airport also unveiled a new name and logo, changing from Quad City to Quad Cities. This subtle yet important change is more inclusive to the region the airport serves and shows solidarity with the naming conventions of other organizations in the area. The website has also been refreshed to be more user friendly, optimized for mobile use and ADA compliant. In mid-2020, the airport partnered with MindFire Communications in LeClaire, Iowa, to support its branding and marketing efforts.

“It was time for our brand to modernize as we make plans to modernize our terminal,” said Leischner. “We are proud to be the Quad Cities’ hometown airport, to provide our neighbors and friends with world-class customer service, and now we feel like our brand truly reflects that.”

Next steps for the terminal plans include developing a plan of finance, prioritizing projects and implementation. Progress can be tracked at

To commemorate the occasion, and to thank the Quad Cities community for its support, the airport is launching the Go For It Giveaway where one lucky person will have a chance to win a $1000 voucher. The voucher can be used for any flight from MLI. Visit Go For It Giveaway to enter and for information on rules and conditions.

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