Related Story

COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council heard the public's input Monday night on a potential agreement with American Airlines.

Under the agreement, American Airlines would provide two daily flights to Dallas/ Fort Worth and one daily flight to Chicago. The city would guarantee $5,012 in revenue for each Dallas flight and $4,403 for flights to Chicago. The city would need to provide American Airlines with $3 million dollars in guaranteed revenue.

The city would compensate for fuel costs if they rise above $3.30 per gallon, and the airline would reimburse the city with credits if prices fall below $3.20 per gallon.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, 39 business in the state have pledged contributions to the guaranteed revenue fund. Those include Ameren Missouri, Veterans United Home Loans, and Columbia College.

Columbia Chamber of Commerce President, Don Laird says those businesses understand the risk but see it as a good investment.

"There is a risk. But we feel it's a good risk," said Laird.

Currently, about eight percent of the region's air travel comes out of Columbia Regional Airport. As part of Mayor Bob McDavid's "40 in 2020" initiative, the city hopes to have forty percent airplane users taking flights out of Columbia.

On Friday, the City Council met for just four minutes to formally introduce the agreement. In a special session on Monday October 22, the Council will vote on the agreement.