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Suspending flights is standard procedure for airline

American Airlines said Wednesday it will suspend flights over any runway issues reported by its pilots.

“If our pilots have concerns about runway conditions, we pass those along to the FAA and the airport authority,” a spokesperson said in statement.

The airline and its regional partners decided Friday to suspend all flights into and out of the Columbia Regional Airport after pilots reported concerns over a hump at the intersection of runways 13-31 and 2-20 that made for a bumpy takeoff and landing. United and its regional partners followed suit.

The airlines operate flights here to and from Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Denver. Those flights have been halted this week, along with other air traffic at the airport, after the city decided to shut down runway 13-31 to reduce the hump, known as a “crown.” The structure is required and helps drain water from the runway.

Problems with the crown surfaced this month when the airport started using runway 13-31 for commercial flights. The airport had previously used the main runway, 2-20, for commercial flights, but that runway is shut down for a major rehabilitation project.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, the airport said crews had moved to the asphalt paving phase of the construction and the work was still on schedule.

Interim city manager John Glascock said Monday he expects the airport to reopen next Tuesday.

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