Published on : Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Columbia Regional Airport gears up with additional parking spots, indoor and security agents after increase in the number of daily flights for passengers to Denver and Chicago from August.
There will be daily flights to Denver International airport and twice daily flights to Chicago O’ Hare International Airport.
Stacey Button, city’s economic development director told the Airport Advisory Board that approximately the flights will bring in 80,000 inbound and outbound passengers to the airport. Mentioning about American Airlines she said that it might also bring in 145,000 passengers this year around 14% increases from last year. In 2016, 128,000 passengers travelled from the airport.
The number of parking spots will go upto 900 as an additional 258 spots are to be added. Mike Parks confirmed 63 seats have been added inside the airport.
At the south end of the airport a wheelchair ramp and automatic doors meeting the American Disabilities Act standard have been installed.
The Transportation Security Administration is planning to hire more staff however, the number is not disclosed.
Parks further said that TSA will introduce the use of a new luggage scanner for outgoing flights providing a centralized point for luggage and speeding up luggage loading.
The city expects substantial funding for a new terminal at the airport. In August 2016 Columbia voters saw an increase from 4 to 5 percent in the hotel and motel tax in order to finance the new terminal.
The estimated cost of the project is $40 million and tax will contribute $10 million.
In 2018 fiscal year budget the state appropriated $2.5 million and the city will apply for $20 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding. The FAA is also expected to look into three locations that are identified as potential sites for the new terminal.