Flight Plans Could Change
Mesa air operates the US Airways Express in Columbia. They point to the primary reason as being delayed flights, some by as much as an hour.
"We've been dependent on St. Louis travel now here for years at Columbia Regional Airport, so this would be quite a significant change," airport manage Kathy Frerking said. "We've had some difficulty with them keeping the schedule, primarily very delayed flights."
"It's a loss for people who have to find a different way to get to St. Louis," passenger Francesca Honeywell said. "I guess they have to get up early in the morning if they have to get there early."
Honeywell says with the delays at the airport, she'll find other options.
"I can easily take the car and go somewhere else."
The city lays blame for the delays on Mesa Air.
"We've been complaining to the US Department of Transportation, even to the owners of Mesa," city manager Bill Watkins said.
In the future, Watkins says he hopes the airport brings in more connections.
"The long term viability of the Columbia airport is not going to Kansas City or St. Louis," Watkins said.
Problems at Columbia Regional airport are nothing new. Last February, Trans-States Airlines announced plans to stop all Columbia flights.
In June 2006, the city of Columbia recommended Mesa Air Service, which now provides 12 flights to both Kansas City and St. Louis every week. But last December, the airport reported its lowest ever traffic count.
The US Department of Transportation has to approve the plan before Mesa can implement it.
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