A 200-person delegation representing the Greater Des Moines Partnership is in Washington this week lobbying on behalf of business and economic interests. This year, the focus is on a major project at the airport.
The Partnership is made up of 23 chambers of commerce representing 6,000 Central Iowa businesses. It has organized lobbying trips to Washington, D.C., for 38 years. The senior vice president of government relations and public policy for the group, Joe Murphy, says each year the agenda includes a transportation related concern. He says this year it involves air travel
“The Des Moines International Airport is going through a number of prospects to create funding for a new terminal," he says. "So, what we’re trying to do is bring awareness to that issue.”
Murphy says the Partnership is trying to convince lawmakers to lift the federal cap on passenger facility charges.
“The cap currently is at $4.50," he says. "It hasn’t been increased since 2000. When you’re talking about finding additional money for our airport, that’s one of the first places we’re going to look."
Murphy says lifting the cap would free Des Moines International to negotiate directly with airlines for higher fees.