Columbia Regional Airport Article

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Columbia Regional Airport
Airport entrance, September 2007
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Columbia
Serves Mid Missouri ( Columbia / Jefferson City)
Location Boone County, Missouri, U.S.
Elevation  AMSL889 ft / 271 m
Coordinates 38°49′05″N 092°13′11″W / 38.81806°N 92.21972°W / 38.81806; -92.21972

38°49′05″N 092°13′11″W / 38.81806°N 92.21972°W / 38.81806; -92.21972
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
COU is located in Missouri
Location of airport in Missouri / United States
COU is located in the US
COU (the US)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
2/20 6,501 1,982 Concrete
13/31 4,401 1,341 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations25,717
Based aircraft41

Columbia Regional Airport ( IATA: COU [2], ICAO: KCOU, FAA LID: COU) is a public city owned airport located about 10  nautical miles (12  mi, 19  km) southeast of the central business district of Columbia in Boone County, Missouri, United States. [1] The only commercial airport in the region of Mid-Missouri, it is served by two commercial airlines and also provides general aviation services.

It is also frequently used for charter flights by college athletic teams visiting the University of Missouri and for MU team flights to other destinations.

Airport officials have created a plan to extend the 6,500 foot runway, and to construct a new terminal. The runway will be extended first, with the terminal reconstruction to take place two years later.

This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport. [3] As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 12,719 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, [4] 26,842 enplanements in 2009, and 38,293 in 2010. [5]

Scheduled passenger service was subsidized by the U.S. Department of Transportation via the Essential Air Service program until 2010, when Pinnacle Airlines dba Delta Connection began providing subsidy-free service.

Facilities and aircraft

Columbia Regional Airport covers an area of 1,538 acres (622 ha) at an elevation of 889 feet (271 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 2/20 is 6,501 by 150 feet (1,982 x 46 m) with a concrete surface; 13/31 is 4,401 by 75 feet (1,341 x 23 m) with an asphalt surface. [1]

For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010, the airport had 25,717 aircraft operations, an average of 70 per day: 79% general aviation, 10% military, 9% scheduled commercial, and 2% air taxi. At that time there were 41 aircraft based at this airport: 44% single- engine, 24% multi-engine, 27% jet, and 5% helicopter. [1]

The 2013 Federal sequester will resulted in the closure of the airport's contract control tower and now requires pilots to rely on air traffic controllers from other area airports. [6] [7]

Airlines and destinations


American Eagle Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Denver


Prior to 2001, service was operated by Trans World Express ( Trans States Airlines) using Jetstream 41 aircraft to St. Louis. After Trans World merged with American, American Connection ( Trans States Airlines) provided service to St. Louis using Jetstream 41's until 2006. US Airways Express ( Air Midwest) using Beechcraft 1900 aircraft replaced American Connection with service to Kansas City and St. Louis. Service to St. Louis was later dropped in favor of additional frequencies to Kansas City.

In 2008, Northwest Airlink ( Mesaba Airlines) replaced US Airways Express using Saab 340 aircraft with service to Memphis. Later that year Northwest Airlines merged with Delta Air Lines. Delta Connection switched service from Mesaba Airlines to Pinnacle Airlines using CRJ-200 aircraft in 2010. In June 2012, ExpressJet Airlines replaced Pinnacle Airlines as the Delta Connection carrier serving Columbia and service to Atlanta began. In October 2012, service to Memphis was dropped. ExpressJet operated service to Atlanta and Memphis using CRJ-200 aircraft. Delta pulled out of Columbia Regional Airport on February 13, 2013.

In August 2012, Frontier Airlines announced plans to have twice weekly flights from Columbia to Orlando. [8] In November 2012, Frontier started twice weekly flights to Orlando using Airbus A319 aircraft. Frontier ended service to Orlando on May 13, 2013. [9]

On October 22, 2012, it was announced by then-Columbia mayor Bob McDavid that American Airlines and the City of Columbia reached an agreement that was approved by the Columbia City Council for air service from Columbia to Chicago O'Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth and service to those two cities began in February 2013. [10]

On February 27, 2017, Columbia and United Airlines officials announced that starting August 1, 2017, there would be one daily flight to Denver and two daily flights to Chicago O'Hare. [11] The new service lines added an additional 150 seats per day for a total 417 seats per day from Columbia.

On January 11, 2018 American Airlines Flight 5766 en route from Dallas-Fort Worth slid off the runway after landing in icy-snow conditions. It was reported that Flight 5766 was the first flight to attempt to land at the airport after the ground crew cleared the runway of ice-snow. Reports state the runway was still very slick with ice.


  1. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for COU ( Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective April 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (COU: Columbia Regional)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  3. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF, 2.03 MB) on 2012-09-27. External link in |work= ( help)
  4. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. External link in |work= ( help)
  5. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. External link in |work= ( help)
  6. ^ "FAA Contract Tower Closure List". American Association of Airport Executives. March 22, 2013.
  7. ^ "FAA: 149 control towers to close at small airports". USA Today. March 22, 2013.
  8. ^ "Frontier to offer flights to Orlando". Columbia Daily Tribune. August 16, 2012. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012.
  9. ^ "Frontier to Discontinue Service At Columbia Regional". KOMU. February 18, 2013.
  10. ^ "City council OKs American Airlines deal". Columbia Daily Tribune. October 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012.
  11. ^ "United Airlines to offer flights at Columbia Regional Airport starting Aug. 1". Columbia Daily Tribune. February 27, 2017.

Other sources

  • Essential Air Service documents ( Docket OST-2006-23931) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
    • Notice (February 9, 2006): of Trans States Airlines, Inc. d/b/a American Connection submitting notice of its intent to terminate service to Columbia, Missouri, on or after May 9, 2006.
    • Order 2006-4-6 (April 11, 2006): prohibiting Trans States Airlines, Inc., d/b/a American Connection, from suspending its service at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, at the end of its 90-day notice period, and requesting proposals, with or without subsidy requests, from carriers interested in providing replacement service.
    • Order 2006-6-21 (June 26, 2006): selecting Air Midwest, Inc. d/b/a US Airways Express, to provide essential air service at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, for a two-year period at a subsidy of $598,751 annually.
    • Notice (January 21, 2008): Air Midwest, Inc. serving notice of its intent to discontinue scheduled subsidized Essential Air Service between Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri and both Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri effective April 20, 2008.
    • Order 2008-2-2 (February 6, 2008): prohibiting Air Midwest from terminating its subsidized service at nine communities (Grand Island, NE; McCook, NE; El Dorado/Camden, AR; Harrison, AR; Hot Springs, AR; Jonesboro, AR; Columbia/Jefferson City, MO; Joplin, MO; Kirksville, MO) for 30 days beyond the end of its 90-day notice period, and requesting long term proposals from carriers interested in providing essential air service at any or all of the communities, with or without subsidy, by February 29.
    • Order 2008-5-2 (May 5, 2008): selects Mesaba Aviation, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Airlink to provide essential air service at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, beginning when the carrier inaugurates service through the 24th month thereafter. Scheduled Service: 20 nonstop round trips to Memphis each week. Aircraft type: Saab 340 (34 passenger seats). Annual compensation: $2,186,590.
    • Order 2010-3-35 (March 31, 2010): relying on Delta Air Lines to provide subsidy-free essential air service (EAS) at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, and terminating the carrier-selection case effective September 1, 2010, when the currently effective EAS contract at the community expires.

External links