AMES, Iowa — Members of the community came in droves Saturday to celebrate the official opening of the new 11,400-square-foot Ames Municipal Airport Hangar and to welcome the airport’s new fixed base operator, Central Iowa Air Service.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony, held for the new $1.1 million hangar, marks the completion of Phase I of a multi-phased airport modernization project. Phase II includes construction of a new 6,900-square-foot terminal, which will offer a lobby and reception area, 40-50 passenger lounge, conference space, coffee bar, areas for pilots and administration and other traditional amenities. Construction of the terminal is currently underway and slated for July completion. The estimated $4.4 million modernization project is a collaborative effort between private-public sectors including investment by the City of Ames, Iowa State University, the Ames Economic Development Commission and private businesses.
Saturday’s event featured speeches from City of Ames Mayor, Ann Campbell; City of Ames Airport Manager, Damion Pregitzer; President and CEO, Ames Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Commission, Dan Culhane; Iowa State University Vice President for Economic Development and Business Engagement, Dr. Michael Crum; President, Renewable Energy Group, Dan Oh; Chair, Story County Board of Supervisors, Rick Sanders; and President, Central Iowa Air, Bill Kyle.
The speakers touted the potential economic impact for Iowa State University, regional businesses, and Story County.
Crum said the new hangar is a key component of the community and regional economic development tool kit.
“Ames is an attractive location for many different industries and businesses — we have a lot to offer,” said Crum. “The availability and quality of air transportation service is an important factor in firms’ decisions on where they will locate operations.”
According to Crum, airport improvements will also help to attract businesses to the adjacent ISU Research Park, further enhancing the Research Park’s growth. ISU Research Park recently expanded an additional 200 acres and expects to employ 5,000 people by 2025.
“Very few research parks across the country are in such close proximity to an airport, said Crum. “This provides Iowa State and the Research Park with a strong competitive advantage when we compete with other universities for companies that are looking to tap into the research expertise, research infrastructure, and the talent pool offered by Iowa State.” Crum added, “Companies at the Research Park indicate that air transportation is important to them, their customers, and their suppliers. These companies provide exactly the type of high paying professional career opportunities we want in our community.”
Leaders say improvements to the Ames Municipal Airport will make it easier for companies to conduct business here.
“Iowa State is proud to partner with the City, the Ames Economic Development Commission and the Ames business community on this valuable and vital investment,” said Crum.
About the Office Economic Development and Industry Relations:
The Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations (EDIR) was formed in 2014 to assist external stakeholders in accessing the unique capabilities and services of Iowa State University. EDIR provides a single point of contact or “one-stop shop” to streamline the process of making connections between industry and the university. EDIR connects companies and individuals with university capabilities and expertise in business and technical assistance, research and development, facilities (including the ISU Research Park, laboratories, and equipment), and workforce development. For more information on EDIR, call 515-294-7444 or visit econdev.iastate.edu
About ISU Research Park:
The Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) is a 29-year-old real estate development community closely affiliated with Iowa State University. ISURP assists both established and startup companies in connecting with Iowa State’s vast infrastructure to grow their enterprises; whether through students, research entities, equipment or a multitude of other resources. ISURP is currently home to more than 70 companies, employs 1,700 people and occupies 600,000 square feet of commercial real estate on 400 acres. ISURP recently expanded into 200 acres of developable space, which will include tenant amenities, a park and multi-use trails. For more information on ISURP, call 515.296.4204 or visit isupark.org.
Contact: Julie Lelonek
Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations