Columbia Regional Airport is getting close to its goal of raising a half a million dollars from the private sector. The money would be used to try to land another connecting flight to the airport.
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce last year formed a task force that has been working on boosting air service at Columbia Regional. Since then, businesses across mid-Missouri have pledged $475,000, just short of the half-million dollar goal.
Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Don Laird says the pool of money being collected will be used to attract airlines to look at Columbia Regional Airport as a possible destination. He says right now Columbia Regional only gets about eight percent of the flying market in Mid-Missouri, and by funding additional flights he hopes to change that: “They look for the convenience that we could have and provide here out of Columbia Regional," he says. "So with that in mind we are trying to get up to about 40 percent. Our goal is 40% of the market here flying out of Columbia Regional by 2020.”
Delta replaced one of its three daily Memphis flights with a flight to Atlanta earlier this month. Laird says Delta plans to replace another Memphis flight with one to Atlanta in September.