Passengers waiting to board flights at Fort Dodge Regional Airport will be able to relax in a more spacious area following a renovation job slated for next year.
And when that work is done, passengers arriving in Fort Dodge will grab their suitcases from a rotating carousel instead of the current conveyor that slides luggage onto the floor.
Improvements to the waiting area, baggage claim and security checkpoint are part of a remodeling project that has been planned since 2005.
The Iowa Department of Transportation recently awarded a $97,000 Commercial Service Vertical Infrastructure Grant to help pay for the project.
The job is estimated to cost $1 million, according to Rhonda Chambers, the airport's director of aviation.
She said much of the needed money will come from the $1 million the airport receives annually from the federal government because it is the site of 10,000 or more boardings a year.
Big runway job nears end
By BILL SHEA
A $5.5 million runway reconstruction job at Fort Dodge Regional Airport is nearing its final phase.
Grooves need to be etched into the new runway surface and markings need to be painted, according to Rhonda Chambers, the director of aviation. Once that work is done, the runway will be available for use again.
She said the grooves help drain water from the runway.
The process of creating the grooves and marking the runway is to begin Aug. 20 and be completed by Aug. 29, when the first skydivers arrive for the annual Labor Day parachuting event called the Dollar Daze Couch Freak Boogie, according to Chambers.
The complete reconstruction of the shorter of the two runways began late last year. The work caused the airport to be closed July 6 through July 20 while crews worked on the spot where the two runways cross.
Chambers said the work is expected to be done next summer.
''There's a lot of people this has to be coordinated with,'' she said.
The entities the project must be coordinated with include the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration and Great Lakes Airlines.
The airport will be open while the remodeling is under way.
Chambers said the interior of the terminal will be rearranged, but the building will not be enlarged.
She said the security checkpoint will be where the Great Lakes ticket counter is now.
Next to the checkpoint there will be a waiting area for passengers who have passed through the screening process. Chambers said it will be larger than the current seating area for those passengers.
She added that the new arrangement will provide a ''better flow for the TSA and the passengers.''
The ticket counter will be where the Hertz rental car counter is now, Chambers added. The rental car counter will be moved to an area where vending machines are currently.
Some storage areas will be reduced because of the changes.
The display cases full of model airplanes will remain in the terminal, although they will probably be in another location, according to Chambers.
The south end of the terminal used by private pilots was renovated in 2008.