By Erika Cervantes
The Davenport Municipal Airport is making improvements to its runways. The runways in use at the city owned airport are from the 1940’s and it’s not longer cost efficient to continue maintaining the runways by patching them. The city is investing in reconstructing the 2 runways and improving the infrastructure will help the airport attract more business.
“The majority of the businesses that come here, the first question they ask is where the nearest airport is and in most cases it’s Davenport Municipal,” says Airport Manager Tom Vesalga.
Upgrading the airport’s runways has already begun. An evaluation was done to find the best way to reconstruct them.
“We looked at it to see how long we could keep it going and we found out that the runway has flat out exceeded it’s useful life,” adds Vesalga.
The design phase will be done in May, construction will start in June, after the air show, and work will be done by October.
“We will be Putting down a whole new landing surface, a whole new lighting system, an approach lighting system, better drainage and basically bringing an entire new runway to the airport,” says the airport manager.
Further down the road will be reconstructing and extending the main runway and expanding the area right outside the terminal. The changes will help larger aircraft land and take off at the airport.
“As time goes by corporate aircraft are going to get larger, faster, more economical,” says Vesalga, “They are going to need larger runways and taxiways to move around in.”
Upgrading the airport will make it more appealing for aviation related businesses to build at the airport. The airport is interested in attracting cargo businesses.
“The ultimate goal is for larger economic growth,” adds Vesalga, “The more businesses that see this, the more they want to come and be part of this future expansion of the airport.”
Improvements at the Davenport Municipal Airport are expected to improve the aviation business as a whole in the Quad Cities. The Quad City International Airport will also benefit from improvements across the river.
“What we want to do is we have a great relationship with the Quad City International Airport and we want to compliment them as they compliment us,” says Vesalga.
The entire reconstruction project, which includes the runways and expanding the taxi area, will cost $6.6-million. 90% of the project will be funded by federal grants and the rest will come from the city.