COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport’s (COU) runway extension is couple months away from being complete.
Michael Parks, COU manager, said there's no specific completion date, but COU expects the runway to be finished by the beginning of December.
Construction on the runway extension began in late August.
With the extension, the length of the runway will go from 6,500 feet to 7,400 feet. The addition will provide a longer distance for planes to land and take-off and help during inclement weather, according to COU.
"So let's just say for an example, snow and ice on the runway, it gives a longer takeoff and longer landing distance," Parks said.
The extension will also give more room for larger aircrafts to use the runway in the future.
"We have both 50 and 70 passenger aircrafts, and with the extension, we could continue flying with those aircraft," Parks explained. "And of course, if an airline decided to increase their fleet size, or if a new airline decided to come into Columbia with a larger aircraft, it'd be an opportunity for them to land and take off."
Another part of the runway project is installing new LED lighting for the primary runway.
"So that will almost be a complete switch over for the entire airport, at the end of this project, there will only be 975 feet left of a taxiway to put LED lighting in, but that improvement is going to save about 75% of our energy cost, just on the primary runway alone," Parks said.
When asked if this will help with travel numbers, Parks said it depends on flight numbers.