Groundbreaking Marks a Milestone for DSM’s Terminal Expansion Project 

October 5, 2023  /  News Blog, Press Releases,
Authority leaders joined by Iowa’s Governor, Polk County Supervisors, local Mayors, and distinguished guests broke ground on the $445M terminal set to open in late 2026 

Des Moines, Iowa – The Des Moines Airport Authority marked a major milestone today with the groundbreaking for the new terminal slated to open in late 2026. Airport Authority Board Chair Jake Christensen kicked off the celebration, welcoming over 100 guests to the historic groundbreaking ceremony. Distinguished guest speakers, including Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie and the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, spoke about the vitality of the Des Moines International Airport to the city, region, and state and celebrated the significant step forward in Iowa’s aviation history. 

Christensen declared the plan to construct a state-of-the-art facility with expanded security screening, enhanced gate operations, efficient baggage handling systems, elevated dining, and retail options, and modernized technologies and infrastructure systems. The new terminal and concourses will offer 18 contact gates on opening day, a 50% increase in aircraft capacity, creating opportunities to grow air service to meet the community’s needs.   

Today, we crossed the threshold of history as we broke ground on the new terminal, a symbol of progress, innovation, and the unwavering commitment to serve our community as an economic engine. The groundbreaking marked the beginning of a transformative journey that will not only redefine our airport but lift the passenger and air travel experience in Iowa.

Jake Christensen, Board Chair of the Des Moines Airport Authority.

Representatives from local governments supporting the terminal expansion project who committed over $28 million towards the project joined in celebrating this momentous day. Of those present were several leaders from the Polk County Board of Supervisors who voted to issue a bond referendum slated for the November election that, if approved by voters, will allow the county to issue bonds for the airport that will significantly reduce the overall cost of the project. 

A modern, user-friendly terminal is vital to not only the residents of Polk County, but to all of Central Iowa. Our Board clearly recognizes the value of this important community investment which is why we are proud to be leading the way in terms of commitments by local governments to make this project a reality.

Tom Hockensmith, Polk County Board Chair

In attendance at the groundbreaking were Lift DSM Terminal Project partners from Anser Advisory, HNTB, and Weitz Turner, a joint venture. Anser Advisory serves as the owner’s representative on the project, HNTB is the lead architectural firm, and Weitz Turner, a joint venture, is responsible for constructing the terminal and bringing the vision to life.  

Weitz | Turner is excited to partner together and bring in this next chapter of economic growth to the city of Des Moines and the state of Iowa. This new terminal marks a monumental step in the city’s ongoing effort to expand its travel offerings to meet the demands of our growing communities. With decades of combined aviation experience around the globe, our team is proud to leverage this expertise to ensure every traveler will have a premier passenger experience at Des Moines International Airport.

Ben Bunge, Project Director with Weitz | Turner – Des Moines International Airport

Terminal site preparation will continue through spring 2024 when foundations will be set. Following the installation of the terminal foundations, vertical infrastructure will start. For more information on the project, visit  


About the Des Moines Airport Authority 

The Des Moines Airport Authority is an independent entity that oversees the operations and maintenance of the Des Moines International Airport, a vital transportation hub for the State of Iowa. With over 30 nonstop destinations across the United States, the Airport Authority works to provide safe, high quality air service while making air travel to and from Iowa more convenient and pleasurable.  For more information, visit and follow @dsmairport on Twitter and DSM International Airport on Facebook.  

About The Weitz Company   

Founded in 1855, The Weitz Company is a full-service construction company, general contractor, design builder, and construction manager that serves all 50 U.S. states. Weitz is one of the oldest general contractors in the United States and an industry leader in industrial construction, senior living, student housing, mission critical construction, virtual design and more. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, The Weitz Company annually ranks in the top tier of Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine’s Top 400 Contractors and Building Design+Construction’s Giants 300 Contractors lists. You can read more about The Weitz Company at