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COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
City and state leaders celebrated the new $23 million terminal at Columbia Regional Airport (COU) on Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Gov. Mike Parson and Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe spoke at the event about the potentials the new terminal brings. City and state leaders broke ground on the terminal in November 2020. The new terminal expects to attract new flights to and from Mid-Missouri.
"You know, this is also a gateway to our new visitors," Buffaloe said. "So when people are coming or when the University of Missouri is recruiting new researcher to come into town, this is what they're going to see."
The new 52,000-square-foot terminal includes four gates, passenger boarding bridges, a restaurant, and other features. Officials plan to announce when flights will start using the new terminal during Wednesday's ceremony.
"...When I first was becoming Governor. This was one of the first stops I made on the economic development, was the ground breaking of this very land here," Parson said. "And to now see that come full circle and open the doors and to have flights in here is one of the neatest things you can do as governor."
American Airlines is the only airline with flights to Columbia from Chicago and Dallas. In February 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Columbia with an $800,000 grant to help the airline provide daily nonstop flights to and from Charlotte, North Carolina.
"I think when you look at where you sit, you look at where Columbia sits, and if you look to the north to the south and easts, you know you're in a prime location to to draw from many areas across the state," Parson said. "You got Jeff City right down the road. They're going to utilize this terminal a lot."
Parson said the terminal will be accepting flights as early as next week.