Airport Plans to Expand Service, Attract Development

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Regional Airport Advisory Board met Wednesday to determine a strategic plan for its long and short term goals.  This comes alongside plans for a new diamond interchange at the airport turnoff and news of a near record-setting month for passengers.

"We're going to light this place up," said board chairman Greg Cecil.

Among the things planned for Columbia Regional Airport:

- No more than one intermediate stop for any major destination in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East

- More airline and destination choices for passengers

- Expansion of terminal facilities

- An increase in the size of the runways

- Partnerships with area universities for the development of Aeronautics programs

The board also expressed a desire to cooperate with REDI and the city of Columbia to develop the area economically. It hopes the area will be a target for manufacturers and other businesses that would be interested in starting an industrial park.

The board expressed the future need for an independent organization to operate the airport, as the airport benefits more jurisdictions than just the city of Columbia. It feels decision-making would be more quicker and more efficient if an independent organization were overseeing operations.

The advisory board hopes to finalize the strategic plan and present it to Columbia City Council next month.