Des Moines International Airport is a public hub primary located three miles (5 km) southwest of the central business district of Des Moines, a city in Polk County, Iowa, United States. This airport is publicly owned by the City of Des Moines. The airport serves the Des Moines metropolitan area with 17 connections to major airline hubs and is the closest airport for people who live throughout much of east-central, north-central, and southern Iowa.
During the 1920s, the Des Moines area had several small private airports that catered to general aviation and air mail. In 1929, the Iowa General Assembly passed a law allowing cities to sell bonds and levy assessments in order to build municipal airports. Over 80 different sites were considered for the Des Moines Airport until a decision was made to build on 160 acres (0.65 km²) of farmland on the south side of the city. Construction of the airport began in 1932 and was completed in 1933. The airport's first passenger terminal was built shortly after the airport was completed. It was replaced by a new terminal in 1950 that has been expanded and renovated several times since then. The airport itself has expanded several times from its original site and now covers 2,300 acres (9.3 km²) of land.
The airport was originally governed by the City of Des Moines' Parks Department. A separate Aviation Department was established by the city during the 1960s, and in 1982, a separate Aviation Policy Advisory Board was established. The airport was renamed the Des Moines International Airport in 1986 to acknowledge the presence of a United States Customs Service office at the airport.
Eppley Airfield in Omaha and the Kansas City International Airport compete with Des Moines International for business. However, few Des Moines passengers use either airport thanks to increased non-stop service and decreased ticket prices at Des Moines International. Another reason for the improvement in local usage is credited to Des Moines International Airport's television, radio, billboard, and sports ads. These ads point out that passengers who choose to fly out of Omaha or Kansas City prevent Des Moines from attracting new airlines and keep local ticket prices high. Des Moines also has discount service from Allegiant Air, not available at either Omaha or Kansas City.
The result has been record-breaking years, and the airport handled a record 1,990,167 passengers in 2004; that figure dropped to 1,903,573 in 2005 but increased to 1,959,393 in 2006. In 2007 the airport saw 1,982,485 passengers go through the airport, an increase over the past year.
Recent growth in passenger enplanement has led planning on future airport upgrades. Currently, the airfield itself is the focus of the improvements, with a new full-service . runway 13R-31L currently in the late-land acquisition/early-construction phase. In addition, a new general aviation apron and terminal are under-construction along with expansion of cargo-handling facilities. Taxiway/runway improvements to allow cargo A380 service are also under discussion.
The terminal itself is currently undergoing an interior renovation and the addition of two new gates (with jet bridges) and an expanded concessions area. In the near-term, work will include infilling narrow walkways between holding areas to expand the amount of waiting area along with the further addition of between four and seven new jet bridges. An international departures/arrivals concourse is also in planning to allow for planned Canada and Mexico service.
Airborne Express (Cedar Rapids) DC-9 Air Net (Omaha) Cessna Caravan (Waterloo) Beech Baron American Check Transport (Omaha) Piper Navajo Fed Ex (Peoria)(Madison)(Memphis)Boeing 727 Flight Express (Ft. Dodge)(Kansas City Downtown)Cessna 210 Plane Master (Spencer,IA) Cessna Caravan UPS (Louisville)(Omaha)(Ontario,CA)(Philadelphia)(Portland,OR)(Rockford)(Sacramento)(Spokane) Boeing 757,767 Airbus A300, DC-8
On January 31, 2008, a Houston-bound United flight was forced to make an emergency landing at the airport. None of the crew, nor the 64 passengers were injured.
On March 13, 2008, a Atlanta-bound ASA (Delta 4704) flight was delayed more than five hours when a mouse was discovered shortly before take-off from DSM. Officials delayed the flight to inspect the plane for any damage that the mouse may have caused. Maintenance crews checked wiring and components on the aircraft. The flight took off at 11:39am.
On July 8, 2008, a Des Moines bound, Denver originating United Airlines flight was delayed for more than six hours after a passenger found ticks on the plane from Washington, DC to Denver. The plane was further delayed because of storms in Denver.
On July 31, 2008, a Northwest Airlines 757 from Detroit, bound for Los Angeles landed safely at the airport after the pilot thought he smelled fumes in the cockpit. Northwest brought in another plane from Minneapolis to complete the passengers journey to Los Angeles