Columbia Regional Airport receives nearly $3 million from the FAA
COLUMBIA - The Federal Aviation Administration is awarding Columbia Regional Airport $2.81 million to help pay for improvements.
COU Manager Mike Parks said most of the money will be used for the physical relocation construction of Route H, which is needed to extend the primary runway 900 feet to the north.
The reconstruction will take Route H further to the east and connect it south on Rangeline.
The rest of the funds will be used to design the runway's extension, which is part of the airport's larger Capital Improvement Plan.
Parks said the airport is in continuous conversations with airlines to pass along information about runways.
"I think that the extension of the runway to the north really allows for a larger aircraft to be able to use the airport. It also gives a larger take off and landing area for each of the aircraft that currently use the airport," he said.
The airport has been plagued with issues regarding its secondary runway. It had to close for nearly a week so an uneven surfaced could be paved over. Many passengers and pilots had expressed concerns of the runway's safety.
Airlines have been keeping a close eye on the weight of planes, even going as far as awarding $2,200 vouchers for people to give up their seats.
The new primary runway is expected to address some of those issues.
“This significant investment in airport improvements to Columbia Regional will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao in a press release.