New Amenities Arrive At Columbia Regional Airport

Related Story

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Regional Airport revamped its old restrooms and added additional parking spaces for the public.

The improvements are part of the airport's projected 20-year master plan with a budget of about $64 million. As carved in the master plan, the developmental costs will come from three sources: $41 million from FAA federal funds, $16 million from local city funds, and $6 million from MoDOT.

"The airport just completed a master plan to identify our weak areas and we're acting on it," Airport Manger Don Elliott said. "We'll start with the taxiways. Eventually, we'll start on the crossway and runway. Then, probably about five years down the road, we'll lengthen our current runway."

The airport completely gutted two restrooms in the existing passenger terminal. Dipti Pitta, a traveler from Pennsylvania who is pregnant with her second child, says the clean bathrooms at the Columbia airport are important to her.

"If they're not neat, you definitely feel like finishing your business and getting out as early as possible," Pitta said. "But when everything is well-maintained, you feel like spending a little bit longer and taking care of all you need to do like makeup."

Overall, the updated "restrooms are ideal for the airport," Pitta said.

Regarding the parking, Elliott said the previous capacity wasn't adequate for travelers during holidays. Therefore, the airport just increased its parking lot by 50 spaces, but Elliott already has plans for another parking lot expansion.

"We are hoping to add another 50 spaces here by the end of the summer," Elliott said.

To view the entire master plan, click here.