Business
5:55 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Airport fund untouched for 15th straight month

Credit Sam Lin / KBIA file photo

The City of Columbia and the Columbia Regional Airport announced that they didn't take money from the Air Service Revenue Guarantee fund for the 15th straight month. 

Air Service Revenue Guarantee fund helped attract American Airlines to begin flights from Columbia Regional in 2013.  The fund ensures American Airlines makes a profit each month.

The $3 million fund consists of money from several private businesses in Columbia and mid-Missouri as well as funds from various government entities.

The fund paid American Airlines $22,562 in March 2013, its first month of service. But the fund hasn't been touched since.

Airport manager Don Elliot said Columbia is doing better than destinations.

"Columbia really stands out," Elliot said. "The average community usually pays out about pretty close to a half a million dollars during the contract period."

Attendance on flights to Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth is nearly 85 percent earning enough profits for the airport.

American added a second flight from Columbia to Chicago O'Hare in April 2014 due to increased transportation, and the demand for flights remains. 

As chair of the airport advisory board Greg Cecil said, if the demand keeps up, more flights could be headed to mid-Missouri.

"If we had flights say on Frontier or some other airline to go west or if Delta were to come back and get us to the West Coast that would be a great thing for us," Cecil said.

Cecil said adding flights and airlines are a possibility for the near future.  He added the airport would like to end the revenue agreement with American Airlines first.