Columbia Regional Airport sees record-breaking number of fliers
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Regional Airport has seen a record-breaking number of fliers this holiday season.
It’s the first Thanksgiving weekend that the airport is flying passengers out to a new hub in Denver, and the number of fliers at the airport keeps going up.
Every month this year, the airport has seen more passengers compared to previous years.
The airport has seen over 70,000 fliers this year, with two months left to go, which is more than last year’s 12-month total of 64,400.
“Of course our numbers have exceeded the numbers from last year, currently this year through October we’ve had 9,717 enplanements, which is approximately 3,400 than last year at this time during the month of October, so the numbers have been great,” said Airport Manager Mike Parks.
Parks said the increase of fliers this season is mainly due to the new flights to Denver.
“I think Denver plays a great role of everyone seeing the benefits of flying West. It’s a great connection and it’s a great hub to fly into,” said Parks.
The airport’s first flights to Denver were in August, just three months ago. Numbers have drastically increased since.
In July, the airport saw 6,356 enplanements and 6,187 deplanements. After adding flights to Denver in August, the airport saw 8,115 enplanements and 8,556 deplanements, over a 25 percent increase for both.
Now, close to 10,000 passengers are flying in and out of Columbia each month.
To keep up with the full flights and increased demand this Thanksgiving, the airport has added two extra flights on Nov. 26. One flight will go to Dallas and one to Chicago.
“I think this demonstrates to everyone who already sees the benefits of flying out of Columbia and I think it also shows those who haven’t tried the Columbia Regional Airport that they now understand the benefits of the free parking, being close, and short security lines and things like that that you don’t get at the larger airports,” Parks said.
Parks added the airport has seen a number of different fliers this season.
“I think the growth continues to show that the people in mid-Missouri support the Columbia airport. They’re seeing the benefits of flying out of Columbia and we’re seeing new faces, new people all the time flying out out of here.”
Parks expects that at the end of the year, they will have seen more than 90,000 fliers at the Columbia Regional Airport, which is 20,000 more than last year.