Columbia Regional Airport wants to lease advertising on terminal walls

Monday, August 29, 2011 | 3:32 p.m. CDT; updated 5:22 p.m. CDT, Monday, August 29, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Regional Airport administration has prepared a proposal to lease terminal wall space for advertising.

According to a proposal to the Columbia City Council from Public Works Director John Glascock, the administration hopes to provide mid-Missouri businesses with terminal wall space to display advertisements. Estimated revenue is $20,000 per year if the council approves the program.

“There are some trade advertisements in the airport right now, but we want to expand them to other businesses,” Columbia Public Works spokeswoman Jill Stedem said.

The airport would adopt standardized advertising frames to ensure uniformity on the terminal walls, according to the proposal.

Two or three size options would be available for businesses to choose from, Stedem said. She said the advertising rates would be based on a six-month or a one-year lease.

Stedem said the proposal would generate revenue for the airport and allow businesses to promote their services.

The airport wants to adopt an advertising policy similar to Columbia Transit that would not allow advertisements promoting alcohol or political campaigns or advertisements in a sexually explicit or religious nature.

According to the proposal, the airport would determine the specific advertising fee after collecting information from 10 similar-size airports in the Midwest.

For Columbia Transit, an outside agency called Transit Advertising Inc. has been hired to manage all aspects of the advertising, such as affixing graphics to buses. The revenue is split; 60 percent goes to the city.

The airport’s advertising program, however, would ensure 100 percent of the revenue would go to the airport by using staff to do all advertising work in-house.

“The income will go directly into the airport’s general revenue for its infrastructure improvement,” Stedem said.

At an Aug. 15 council meeting, city officials decided the matter was not urgent and planned to review the proposal at a future meeting, after they look into the possibility of combining sponsorship and artwork that represents Columbia.

“I hope they’ll approve it. All airports in the nation are selling ads, either print or digital. This is a sign of growing change,” Stedem said.

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