Columbia airport makes normal renovations; future holds more expansion

8 months 1 week 6 hours ago Sunday, June 10 2018 Jun 10, 2018 Sunday, June 10, 2018 5:57:00 AM CDT June 10, 2018 in News
By: Jared Smith, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Regional Airport will be undergoing maintenance to fix one of its runways with the plan of adding additional pieces to the small airport.

The project was approved by city council Monday to start a $6 million project beginning in 2019.

The project will entail fixing runway 2-20 and around ninety percent of the funding will come from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Director of Community Relations Steven Sapp said in a release $5 million will be funded through this organization with the other $280,000 being split between the city and state.

The long term plans for the airport include adding an additional terminal.

"At the moment I think we something like 12 or 13 flights in and out everywhere and they are bumping into each other in terms of number of people in the terminal," city council member Ian Thomas said.

An additional terminal would not be built until the city has more money to fund it. The projected plan is it will be built in 3 to 4 years.

The main thing council member Thomas wants to create is a parking fee at the airport.

"I do think that the airport is leaving money on the table that would actually really benefit the airport and benefit the rest of city operations," Thomas said.

The main issue with adding a fee to park at the airport is that some people may prefer to fly out of St. Louis or Kansas City instead. Thomas said he doesn't think this will change it.

"I don't think that charging five dollars a day would have any significant impact, but we can always hire a research company to do a survey of people that use the airport and find that out,” he said.

A parking fee has not been brought up in a city council meeting, but Thomas plans to have it talked about in the future.

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