The Cole County Commission pledged $100,000 on Tuesday October 2, 2012 as part of a regional plan to attract a new airline to Columbia Regional Airport. This comes after Jefferson City, the city of Columbia, and The University of Missouri all donated money to a fund to attract new airlines.
This money goes into an escrow fund, which doesn’t pay for new runways or physical improvements to the airport. It was solely established to attract new airlines to the airport.
Cole County Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger said bringing in a new airline would help make flying easy for the thousands of Cole County residents who regularly travel.
Earlier this year, Delta Airlines began daily non-stop flights from Columbia to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Ellinger said these flights helped economic development in Cole County because bringing business officials to the area is much easier when the airport flies directly to an international hub. Although this expansion helped economic development, Ellinger said going west is still difficult because coordinating flight connections between Atlanta and Columbia is still difficult because of the limited number of flights.
Ellinger said he hopes Columbia Regional Airport will soon offer flights to Chicago, Dallas, or Denver.