MOLINE, ILLINOIS (February 17, 2021) — Quad City International Airport is getting a $2.8 million boost from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program. The program, funded under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (CRRSA), awarded $2 billion total to US airports. This funding will continue to offset lost revenue and provide operational and payroll support. The airport previously received $8 million from the CARES Act.

“As a facility that supports nearly 500 jobs, nearly 100 of which are employed directly by the Metropolitan Airport Authority (MAA), this funding ensures that we can continue to provide the level of service that we are known for while keeping the MAA workforce fully intact,” said Executive Director Benjamin Leischner AAE. “I want to thank our elected officials here in Illinois and at the federal level for their support of the transportation sector. Air travel is critical to our country’s infrastructure and here, locally, the airport’s economic impact is more than $500 million per year. This exceeded our expectations and we are thrilled.”

As the airport looks ahead to recovery, encouraging studies have emerged throughout the pandemic showing that air travel has some of the lowest rates of transmission, thanks to the filtration systems on board aircraft. A study issued on February 11 by Harvard’s Aviation Public Health Initiative also did a curb-to-curb study on the health and safety of airports and concluded that the probability of being infected at an airport is very low.

“The safety of air travel, paired with the vaccine roll-out, and pent-up demand, are setting the industry up for a rebound,” said Leischner. “We believe the worst is behind us and are cautiously optimistic that we will continue to see improvements throughout 2021.”

QC Airport has experienced some early signs of stabilization and recovery, with passenger numbers hovering around 20-23,000 passengers per month. The airport also recently learned that service to Denver through United Airlines would resume February 11. While a restart date for Delta’s service to Minneapolis and Detroit has not been announced, the airport remains optimistic that it will return in Q2.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher