Quad City International Airport

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Quad City International Airport
QuadCityIntlAirport Aerial.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerRock Island County
OperatorMetropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County
ServesQuad Cities, Eastern Iowa, Western Illinois
LocationMoline, IL
Elevation AMSL590 ft / 180 m
Coordinates41°26′55″N 90°30′27″W / 41.44861°N 90.50750°W / 41.44861; -90.50750Coordinates: 41°26′55″N 90°30′27″W / 41.44861°N 90.50750°W / 41.44861; -90.50750
MLI is located in Illinois
Location of airport in Illinois
MLI is located in the United States
MLI (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9/27 10,002 3,049 Concrete
13/31 7,301 2,134 Asphalt
5/23 5,016 1,529 Concrete
Passengers (2017)665,691[1]
Aircraft operations (2017)31,427
Based aircraft (2017)85
Source: FAA[2]

Quad City International Airport (IATA: MLI, ICAO: KMLI, FAA LID: MLI) is a public airport in Rock Island County, Illinois, three miles (5 km) south of Moline. It is owned and operated by the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County. It is partly in Blackhawk Township and partly in Coal Valley Township.[2] In 2012 it was named "Illinois Primary Airport of the Year".[3]

Quad City is the third-busiest commercial airport in Illinois – Chicago's O'Hare and Midway International Airports lead the state.[4] The international designation is for being an official port of entry and having a U.S. customs port of entry. A Foreign Trade Zone and U.S. Customs Office are located at the airport, enabling international inbound and outbound shipments. There are no commercial passenger flights to or from any international locations, but some private aircraft (e.g., those owned by Deere & Company) do make non-stop, international flights.


A Velie Monocoup airplane in the terminal

Franing Field, the site of the present Quad City International Airport, was picked as an ideal flying field, with 120 acres (49 ha) of level, grassy land free of obstacles. The airport made headlines right at the start, chosen as a control point for the first coast-to-coast flight in the fall of 1919. On August 18, 1927 an estimated 10,000 people came to welcome Charles Lindbergh in Moline and his famous plane, the Spirit of St. Louis on the Gugenheim tour, a cross-country commercial aviation promotion tour. In 1929 Phoebe Omlie set an altitude record above the airport in a Velie Monocoupe, the only plane ever manufactured in Moline, which still hangs in the passenger terminal. In 1947 the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County was formed after seven townships voted to establish it. In 1957 the first count of enplaning and deplaning passengers was made with a total of 59,701 recorded. The airport underwent major remodeling in 1961 and 1968, adding everything from baggage claim to a restaurant and boarding areas. The present airport terminal was completed in 1985, after studies showed that an addition to the 1954 structure would be more costly than an entirely new terminal. The shift to the new $11 million terminal allowed expansion of airline facilities; between 1979 and 1986, the number of airlines increased from two to seven.[5]

Baggage Claim

AccessAir, Air Midwest, AirTran Airways, America West Airlines, American Airlines, Allegiant Air, Chicago Air, Midway Connection, Northwest Airlines, Ozark Air Lines, Pan American World Airways, Skyway Airlines, Trans World Airlines and United Airlines have flown to Quad Cities. At one time Mississippi Valley Airlines had its headquarters at the airport.[6] In the early and mid-1990s turboprop equipment was common; Northwest Airlink and other airlines had Saab 340Bs. Carriers have replaced their turboprops with newer regional jets. Allegiant Air MD 80s fly to Orlando, Las Vegas, Clearwater, and Phoenix/Mesa. While none of the current legacy carriers offer mainline jet service from Moline, there was such service in the past. American Airlines briefly operated MD-80s to Saint Louis after its acquisition of TWA in the early 2000s. United offered non-stop flights to Denver on Boeing 727s and 737s during the 1980s and early 90s. Northwest Airlines had DC-9 service to both Detroit and Minneapolis in the late 1980s, while America West had Boeing 737 flights to Phoenix. The most recent mainline service was in 2013 to Atlanta via Delta Airlines A319s and A320s.

In 2001 the terminal underwent a major renovation and expansion: two new concourses, a larger baggage claim area, new restaurants and gift shops. The project doubled the size of the passenger terminal. The Philadelphia architectural firm DPK&A designed the new concourses.

A larger U.S. Customs and Border Protection Facility was opened in 2014 in a former air cargo building. The facility processes international passengers arriving on general aviation flights. There are no commercial airlines utilizing this facility at this time. It includes a processing room, an interview room, space for agricultural inspections, office space, and holding cells for passengers who are prohibited from entering the U.S. or who are being detained and transported by law enforcement.[7] Phase two of the project will renovate the remainder of the building to create an international terminal or Federal Inspection Service, should the airport establish nonstop international charter flights. Gere-Dismer Architects of Rock Island designed the facility.

The airport set its passenger record in 2007 when 484,212 passengers boarded flights while 481,930 deplaned.[8] The total beat the record of 911,522 set the previous year. In 2008 passenger numbers declined: 957,087 passengers enplaned or deplaned.[9] Passenger count dropped to 763,416 in 2013.[10]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

Quad City International Airport Diagram

Quad City International Airport covers 2,021 acres (818 hectares) and has three runways:[2]

  • Runway 9/27: 10,002 ft × 150 ft (3,049 m × 46 m) Concrete, ILS equipped.
  • Runway 13/31: 7,301 ft × 150 ft (2,225 m × 46 m) Asphalt/Concrete
  • Runway 5/23: 5,016 ft × 150 ft (1,529 m × 46 m) Concrete

The airfield at the Quad City International Airport can accommodate any type of aircraft in virtually any type of weather conditions with the long runways, ILS, and high-intensity lighting. Airport officials claim that the airport is possibly capable of handling the Airbus A380. The airfield has gone through many changes over the past few years as well, including extending Taxiway Hotel. Also, Runway 5/23 has been expanded to a usable 5,015 feet (1,529 m).

Runway 9/27, the longest runway, was rebuilt in 2011. The program included a temporary 6,500-foot (2,000 m) parallel runway (10/28) built during the project. Former 10/28 is now taxiway P. The new runway 9/27 has new pavement, new shoulder construction, taxiway additions, and a new glide-slope capture effect kit for runway 9. The cost totaled $34 million and was completed in late 2012 when the temporary runway was converted into a taxiway.[11]

The airport's Air Traffic Control Tower was originally on top of the old (1954-era) passenger terminal. Currently the control tower, located on the south side of the airport near fixed-base operator Elliot Aviation, is manned seven days a week. It is only actually manned from 0530 am to 1030 pm. At other times the control of airspace is by the Chicago Air Traffic Center remoted from Aurora, Il.

In 2017 the airport had 31,427 aircraft operations, an average of 86 per day: 51% general aviation, 29% air taxi, 18% scheduled commercial and 2% military. In December 2017, there were 85 aircraft based at this airport: 55 single-engine, 18 multi-engine, 11 jet and 1 helicopter.[2]

The airport is designated international for having a port of entry customs service. A Foreign Trade Zone and U.S. Customs Office are located at the airport, enabling international inbound and outbound shipments. The Customs & Border Protection offices recently opened in the easternmost former cargo building. There are three cargo facilities for every available ramp and the airport has expansion capabilities. A number of air freight companies are located at the airport including BAX Global, DHL, and UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

Fixed-base operators (FBO's) include Elliott Aviation.


Art Gallery

The terminal features the full-service Air Host Restaurant. There is also a full-service bar, Paradies Gift Shop, shoe shine service, and post office boxes and a mail drop. An art gallery, featuring local and regional modern and contemporary art, is located near the security check point. There is also a visitor information center near baggage claim to provide passengers local tourism information and directions. Free wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is available throughout the airport.[12]

Beyond the security checkpoint in between Concourses A & B, there is a snack bar, lounge, bar, and a Gevalia Kaffe Coffee Shop. Located on Concourse B is a CNBC News and Gift Shop. Destination Points, a frequent flyer lounge, is available for local and regional travelers who fly approximately eight or more times, annually. There are also several work stations that passengers may utilize to set out their computers or work, and recharge their electronics.

There are two hotels on the airport property across the parking lot from the terminal. A three-story Hampton Inn & Suites opened in 2006 and a four-story Holiday Inn Express in 2014.[13][14] In an effort to decrease the number of people circling the airport proper waiting to pick up arriving passengers a cell phone waiting area was created in 2008 adjacent to the airport's entrance road.[15] A consolidated rental car facility opened in October, 2014. The airport hosts a TSA office, serving administrative functions for Downstate IL airports, on the second floor of the passenger terminal.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Atrium between the concourses
A Concourse
Allegiant Air Las Vegas, Phoenix–Mesa
Seasonal: Orlando/Sanford, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg/Clearwater
American Eagle Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul [17]
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver [18]


Busiest domestic routes out of MLI
(Jan 2017 – Dec 2017)[19]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Chicago, IL (O'Hare) 94,110 American, United
2 Atlanta, GA 62,320 Delta
3 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 41,910 American
4 Detroit, MI 31,560 Delta
5 Minneapolis/St Paul, MN 22,530 Delta
6 Denver, CO 21,150 United
7 Las Vegas, NV 14,590 Allegiant
8 Orlando–Sanford, FL 14,490 Allegiant
9 St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL 14,420 Allegiant
10 Phoenix/Mesa, AZ 13,790 Allegiant


  1. ^ https://qctimes.com/business/passengers-down-percent-for-at-quad-city-airport/article_863c536c-e65b-5348-a159-8270b6c6c6e1.html
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for MLI (Form 5010 PDF), effective January 5, 2017.
  3. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2012-05-24). "Quad-City Airport named state's airport of the year". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  4. ^ By enplanements the FAA ranks Chicago O'Hare as the No. 2 airport in the United States, Chicago–Midway is No. 26, Quad City International is No. 130, General Downing – Peoria International is No. 154, and Central Illinois Airport is #164."Enplanements at All Commercial Service Airports (by Rank) – Preliminary" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 3, 2013. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  5. ^ Sarah Hayes (1999). "A Q-C Century – Progress 99: A brief history of the Quad City Airport". The Dispatch / The Rock Island Argus. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  6. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 30, 1985. 98. "Head Office: PO Box 949, Quad City Airport, Moline, Illinois 61265, USA."
  7. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2014-04-22). "New customs facility opens at Q-C airport". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  8. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2008-01-15). "QCIA sets passenger record for 2007". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  9. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2008-01-21). "Q-C airport misses annual passenger record by 1 percent". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  10. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2014-01-30). "Q-C International ends 2013 with slight passenger decline". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  11. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2011-11-06). "Runway project nears completion". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  12. ^ "Features". Quad City Airport. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  13. ^ Kay Luna (2006-11-29). "New airport hotel opens in Moline". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  14. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2014-06-18). "Frontier opens Holiday Inn Express in Moline". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  15. ^ Jennifer DeWitt (2008-11-24). "Q-C airport rings in new service with cell phone lot". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  16. ^ "Allegiant Air". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  17. ^ "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  19. ^ "Moline, IL: Quad City International (MLI)". Research and Innovative Technology Administration. Retrieved 16 Mar 2016.

External links[edit]