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Columbia Regional Airport back open to air traffic

The Columbia Regional Airport is back open to air traffic after closing Tuesday, when airlines began canceling flights due to safety concerns with the runway.

Customers also complained about the crown on Runway 2-20 where it crosses Runway 13-31, saying it caused major bumps when the plane was landing.

COU officials said the crown has now been modified to address pilot safety and customer experience concerns brought to the airport’s attention last weekend.

City Manager John Glascock said he was pleased the runway was able to open Saturday, despite original estimates that would be Monday at the earliest.

“I want to again apologize to our customers who were impacted by this temporary closure,” he said in a press release. “I understand the frustration of having canceled, delayed or changed flights. I am sorry for those customers who had unexpected out of pocket expenses. We will work to regain your patronage and hope that you will fly with us again.”

According to Glascock, United and American airlines have indicated they plan to resume service either Monday or Tuesday.

A representative from United Airlines said services to Columbia Regional Airport will resume Tuesday.

Yvonne Gust flies out of COU frequently. She has a flight scheduled for Friday, but she said the update from the city caused some confusion.

“I go, ‘Well that’s a little confusing now. Is it reopened and the airlines are doing it, or what’s going on here?’ So yeah, that was a little confusing this morning,” she said.

Gust said she did not fully understand why the airport reopened if United and American airlines were not using it.

“I was wondering if there’s something behind the scenes we don’t know really about because we are just flying the major airlines,” she said.

She said the communication from the city on updates has been fantastic. She said United Airlines did not alert her the airport was ever closed or that it had reopened.

If you need to get information about your flight, you need to call the airline.

United Airlines can be reached by calling 800-864-8331 and American Airlines can be reached by calling 800-433-7300.

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