A Publication of WTVP

On October 10, 2008, the Greater Peoria Regional Airport became the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport (PIA). Additionally, the groundbreaking of the new 125,000-square-foot, $65 million terminal building took place. More than 350 people were on hand to officially welcome the commencement of the two-year construction project.

The new terminal will be able to handle over two million passengers with 11 airline gates, all on one level. That’s right—no elevators, stairs or escalators. All commercial activities will take place on one level. The new terminal will allow for better passenger service in a modern environment that will showcase Peoria and all of central Illinois.

On hand to celebrate the new terminal and the airport’s new name was Congressman Ray LaHood, Ross Perot, State Senators Dale Risinger and David Koehler, and State Representatives David Leitch and Aaron Schock. Together with many local elected officials, the groundbreaking event was a tremendous success. Ross Perot, one of the featured speakers, paid tribute to his good friend, the late General Wayne A. Downing.

Moving forward with the new name and new look, the MAAP will be investing approximately $100 million at both PIA and Mt. Hawley (3MY) airports over the course of five years. In addition to the new terminal, the MAAP just finished building and renovating a new taxiway and building a new consolidated rental car service facility. Other improvements at PIA include: snow removal equipment/maintenance facility; perimeter fence/road construction; runway/taxiway reconstruction and new airfield lighting. At 3MY, plans are moving forward to expand and widen the runway, and the MAAP recently purchased land there to facilitate this expansion. In doing so, operating at 3MY will be safer and allow for more efficient use of that airport.

Passenger traffic continues to soar. Despite some industry cutbacks, PIA has done very well. In 2008, PIA anticipates breaking the all-time passenger record that was set in 1978. With nonstop service to nine destinations (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Phoenix/Mesa and Tampa/St. Petersburg), PIA and its five airlines serve more destinations than any other airport in Illinois outside Chicago.

Cargo is still a very important part of PIA’s service, and DHL, FedEx and UPS serve the airport daily with service to all major cargo hubs. With one connection, your cargo can reach just about any destination the world. Remember to fly from Peoria and connect to the world. You can visit us at iBi