Office of Aviation

Iowa airports and national politics

Municipal AirportThe nation’s eyes focused on Iowa for the historically close 2012 Iowa Caucuses held on
Jan 3. Iowa has hosted the nation’s first electoral event for every presidential election since 1972. As media coverage has grown and candidates scramble throughout the state campaigning for voter approval, airports in Iowa have played an increasing role throughout the years in supporting the fast and secure movement of presidents, presidential candidates, media, and campaign supporters. Some examples are:

  • The Clinton Municipal Airport has seen its share of presidential candidates from Ron Paul in 2011 to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Fred Thompson in 2007. Candidates have relied extensively on business jets for visits to Clinton.
  • Various candidates and political figures utilized the Iowa City Municipal Airport in 2011 for airplane travel associated with the campaign.
  • In Newton, several candidates utilized turbine aircraft for campaign events.
  • Business jets brought Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann to Le Mars during 2011.
  • At the Southeast Iowa Regional Airport in Burlington, many campaigners who have used the airport over the years have gone on to serve as president or vice-president, including George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama.
  • Rick Perry visited Atlantic Municipal Airport in a business jet in September 2011.
  • Candidates, campaign workers and the media relied extensively on airline service at commercial airports throughout Iowa to transport them to and from the state throughout the campaign. The Des Moines International Airport was particularly busy leading up to and immediately following the Iowa Caucus.

Supporting the selection process of our nation’s leaders is just one more way airports are used to benefit Iowa and the nation.