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June 7, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
For the past 84 years, the Columbia Regional Airport has given mid-Missourians access to flight services through various airlines. The airport offers three nonstop flights to Memphis through Delta Air Lines. Beginning today, the airport will also have a nonstop afternoon flight to Atlanta. Vox explores some significant events in the airport’s history that have allowed it to soar.
The Columbia Municipal Airport replaced a flying service operated by the Allton Brothers, who also leased the land. The airport was created at what is now Cosmo Park.Related Articles
The airport consisted of 470 acres of land. It was used as an emergency landing field between Kansas City and St. Louis.
The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, which identifies airports that are significant to national airport transportation and eligible to receive federal grants, suggested Columbia’s airport should have a new 5,300-foot runway to accommodate the Convair CV-240 aircraft used by several commercial airlines. The Convair CV-240 was big at the time — John F. Kennedy made it the first private aircraft used in a presidential campaign.
After determining a new location and completing the $3.41 million construction project, the Columbia Regional Airport opened in December.
The Department of Transportation named the Columbia Regional Airport the primary service airport for mid-Missouri. Nearby cities such as Jefferson City, Moberly and Mexico have general aviation airports for private flights.
The airport began to conduct its service solely through Delta. Through the years, the Columbia Regional Airport has conducted its flights with several airlines, including Ozark, American, Air Midwest/US Airways Express and Mesaba/NWA. Since 2008, 113,107 passengers have boarded Delta flights from Columbia Regional Airport.
All flights were upgraded to 50-passenger regional jets instead of the 19-to-30-passenger aircrafts.
Delta added a new nonstop flight to Atlanta.