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Columbia airport waiting on council for new runway money

The Columbia City Council will consider the approval of more than $150,000 for the airport at Monday night’s council meeting. The money would pay for a percentage of runway improvements slated to begin in the next couple months.

It’s a $1.5 million runway reconstruction project. The FAA will pay for 90 percent and the city of Columbia would pay for 10 percent. The first part of the project involves reconstruction of the crosswinds and main runway intersection.

Construction crews will have to work during off hours because the runway will have to be closed during construction. The intersection construction is just part of a much larger runway project. Depending on FAA funding, the crosswinds runway will be redesigned to improve sight lines between it and the main runway. Also, the main runway would be lengthened 1,000 feet.

Columbia airport officials said after airport infrastructure construction is complete, they’ll consider airplane terminal improvements or adding an additional terminal.

The runway intersection project is expect to be finished before winter. The plan is to have the compete runway reconstruction done in the next three to five years.

Columbia Regional Airport saw a dramatic increase in passengers last year — more than 100,000 people used the airport. Officials said they expect that number to increase this year.

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