Proposition 1 should encourage mid-Missourians to travel

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COLUMBIA- Columbia voters passed Proposition 1, an increase in hotel taxes to fund a new terminal at the Columbia Regional Airport. The Columbia Regional Airport Advisory Board held a meeting on Wednesday following the approval of the tax.

Columbia Regional Airport Advisory Board Chair Gregory Cecil said he is excited the tax passed because it will make the airport better for mid-Missourians. He said the new terminal will improve the customer experience, which will make the airport more appealing to airlines. One of travelers' biggest complaints is that they want more airline choices at the airport.

"The more of us that use it, the more passengers we have, the more we will get in the future," Cecil said. "Our goal is to get another airline and we're hoping to get another destination soon."

Now that the tax is passed, a layout plan will be submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA could then approve the plans and Columbia would request federal funds to help fund the project. The Airport Board expects the new terminal to be complete within three to five years.

"This is a great day for us because we've been needing to do this for a long time and the voters in Columbia have overwhelmingly supported this idea, so they want a new terminal as well," Cecil said.

Also discussed in Wednesday's meeting was a survey of passengers at the Columbia Regional Airport. Only 32 people responded to the survey, but a majority of those who responded said they wanted to see more flights out of the airport, and they do not think the airport can handle any more traffic. Some passengers also said they wanted a restaurant in the airport.

Cecil said the board would like to see a restaurant in the airport as well.