Passengers wait in the terminal at Columbia Regional Airport | Photo courtesy of Columbia Missourian

Passengers choosing Columbia Regional Airport at record rate in 2017



Passenger numbers soared through the first half of the year at Columbia Regional Airport, and city officials are bracing for even larger crowds beginning next month.

Through June of this year, 36,964 passengers flew out of the airport and 36,801 flew in — an average of about 6,150 passengers each direction per month, according to the latest passenger load figures from the city. The rate travelers are flying through Columbia is at a record high. Officials expect figures seen during the first six months of the year to only grow in the remaining months of the year, finally topping a 40-year-old record.

Compared with 2016, approximately 15 percent more customers are choosing Columbia Regional Airport this year. That growth continues a decade-long trend, as passenger loads have grown nearly every year since a record low 9,090 flyers in 2007.

Much of the recent increase can be attributed to the fact that in 2016 Envoy Air, which is a subsidiary of American Airlines, started using larger planes with 75 seats, said city spokesman Steve Sapp.

With the Aug. 1 addition of United Airlines flying 50-passenger jets to both Denver and Chicago, the number of people moving through the airport will only grow, city officials say.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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