Company Logo


Quad Cities Airport breaks ground on transformative renovation projects

04 Apr 2024

Quad Cities International Airport broke ground on the first of many projects that will transform the landside of the terminal. The airport’s terminal construction master plan, known as Project GATEWAY, includes several projects that will take place over the next few years. Project One begins this month and focuses on removing security screening equipment from the ticketing lobby, and modernizing airline ticket counters. The landside, which refers to the portion of the terminal prior to the security checkpoint, was last updated in 1985.

“After years of planning, we are thrilled to announce the official start of construction for the Quad Cities International Airport’s terminal renovation program, Project GATEWAY,” said Benjamin Leischner, A.A.E., executive director, Quad Cities International Airport. “Project GATEWAY will transform the public side of our airport, which has reached the end of its useful life. With safety, passenger experience and the pride we have for being the Quad Cities’ hometown airport in mind, we will take the necessary steps to modernize the air travel experience for people traveling to the Quad Cities, and for those who call it home.”

The project will be funded through a combination of airport entitlement funds provided by the FAA, as well as funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

“Project GATEWAY exemplifies the transformative impact of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “Through this historic legislation, we have secured critical funding to revitalize our nation’s infrastructure, laying the groundwork for sustained economic growth and prosperity. From removing outdated security screening equipment to modernizing airline ticket counters, the upgrades being made to the Quad Cities International Airport will improve efficiency and safety, enhancing the overall passenger experience.”

As part of BIL, the airport is allocated $2.8 million per year for 5 years based on passenger and traffic activity. Airline rates and charges will not be used or increased to fund the project. Project One is estimated to cost $18 million, which will largely be funded through the FAA and BIL funding streams. Any remaining costs will be funded directly by the airport.

“The Quad Cities International Airport is the gateway to the world for people all across our region,” said Congressman Eric Sorensen. “And to make sure the airport is sustainable for future generations we need to invest in the most up-to-date infrastructure to support future airport growth. Project GATEWAY will create a seamless travel experience for our neighbors while at the same time, supporting jobs and opening economic opportunities for the region. I am excited to be here to help launch Project GATEWAY and I look forward to working with the airport’s leadership to make sure we get this project completed.”

A new 14,600-square-foot building will be added to the backside of the terminal. The precast building will contain a belt system that feeds into the relocated screening device and out onto a circular belt that allows airline baggage carts to drive up and collect screened luggage. It also includes a passing lane to avoid traffic back-ups during the loading process, and new, indoor parking spaces for smaller airline ground service equipment.

Takeback belts will be added behind each airline ticket counter, and the counters themselves will be refreshed with new, modern finishes.

Project One has been broken down into two phases to avoid passenger disruption. Dividing the ticketing counters in half, the first phase will focus on the far east end of the ticketing lobby, installing the takeback belt systems and updating the counter spaces.

After approximately six months, airlines will relocate to the new ticketing spaces on east end so the same work can be completed on the other half of the lobby. Concurrently, the 14,600-square-foot baggage make-up addition will be constructed.

Passenger impact should be minimal throughout Project One. Delta’s ticketing counter has temporarily relocated next to American, and the checked bag drop off for TSA screening will be on the far east end of the lobby, just before turning to go the security checkpoint.

The entirety of Project One is expected to last 13 months.

In December 2021, the airport selected Mortenson as its Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) to oversee the project. Mortenson will lead this project with local team members and subcontractor partners.

“Mortenson is excited for the launch of this initial phase of Project GATEWAY,” said Randy Clarahan, market executive, Mortenson. “We have been working with the QC Airport’s talented and dedicated staff over the past two-and-half years in the planning phase and are now ready to make our plans a reality!”

Future project plans include replacing the brick floor, creating a curbside canopy, updating restrooms, and adding companion care restrooms and nursing rooms, relocating the public meeting space and board room to a new location for better public access, and creating an indoor/outdoor observation space. Project GATEWAY will likely take several years to complete, and current cost estimates range between $40-60 million.

Please wait