Ankeny Regional Airport History

Business and community leaders convened in 1989 to create a vision for an airport in the northeast part of Polk County. They saw a need to serve businesses that relied on easy access to Des Moines to complement Des Moines International Airport.

A partnership was crafted between Polk County and the cities of Bondurant, Altoona and Ankeny. The early leadership of the Polk County Aviation Authority¬† and elected officials faced the dual challenges of building and financing an airport from scratch and constructing a system for governing it. These leaders used their relationships and vision to identify a location for the airport and to develop a plan to build it. The airport’s proximity to the Metro North Business Park lent credibility to the vision for a business airport.

The Ankeny Regional Airport opened in February 1994. The first airplane at the airport was a Cessna TR182 owned by Casey’s General Stores (Ankeny Press Citizen, 2/15/94 – 2/21/94).

The airport has grown to become the third-busiest in the State of Iowa. In 2016, the airport had 48,600 general aviation aircraft operations, an average of 133 per day. There is a strong use of the airport by area businesses for meetings and parts delivery. Charter services are also popular, serving over 650,000 people in the metropolitan area. General aviation use is high, aided by the significant aircraft storage space at the airport. There are 100 aircraft based at the airport.