Politics
3:57 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid stresses importance of airline deal

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid plans to run for a second term and is putting extra importance on issues that he says still need resolving. McDavid thinks transportation is the key to improving Columbia’s economy in the coming years.

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid announced his intention to run for reelection in April 20-13. McDavid said he has a list of issues he wants to tackle if he’s reelected. He said he wants to continue focus on reducing crime, improving overall public safety, and increasing morale within the Columbia Police Department. But McDavid also stresses the importance of keeping education the highest priority.

“The next big thing in Columbia is going to be the University of Missouri again, and it’s going to be Stephens College and Columbia College," said McDavid. "It’s going to be our public school system. I mean, that’s our strength. Those will be the catalysts for the future.”

McDavid said the new deal announced last month with American Airlines to add flights from Columbia to Dallas, Chicago, and Orlando is a giant step in the right direction for Columbia. He said the main challenge will be sustaining the amount of traffic needed to keep the service running.

“This is a use it or lose it proposition, said McDavid." "We’re a small market, but it’s a market that can sustain a substantial increase in air service.”

Since there is an increase in the student population coming to Columbia from Dallas and Chicago, McDavid said this is one of the biggest opportunities to improve Columbia’s economy. McDavid said Columbia has been overlooked for research opportunities in the past, because of a lack of convenient international connections.

“I want to make it easy for a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley to fly into Columbia," said McDavid. "I want to make it easy for an industrialist from India to fly into Columbia.”

McDavid said the priority is to make sure all the new flights to Dallas and Chicago are filled. His goal is to increase the amount of daily traffic through Columbia Airport to 600 passengers per day by the year 2020.