Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) says derecho and recent FAA changes have forced them to put a pause on the planned health-screening program they were set to implement for passengers and visitors.

The plan, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, was approved last month to begin screening all outgoing passengers, with assistance from Mercy Medical Center staff in early September. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came back and said they cannot use the 3 percent of CARES Act funding CID had planned to use for the program.

There's also some storm damage, which CID director Marty Lenss said would be very minimal in effect to passengers and visitors walking the terminal. A cargo shipping container blew through a fence. Several garage doors and runway lights were damaged. On Monday, the airport commission approved $113,300 to the public safety and old National Guard buildings on the airport campus. $108,000 will be covered by insurance.

While they wait for the FAA to reconsider the use of CARES Act funds for the temperature-screening programs, a mask-mandate at CID remains in effect. If all goes well, their COVID safety programs can be implemented and derecho repair completed in 60-90 days.

A steep decline in airline travel is being seen compared to this time last year. July traffic was down nearly 70 percent from that month last year, and Dubuque just suspended American Airlines flights from its airport. Lenss said it remains to be seen if that will create an uptick at CID.

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