COLUMBIA — Mayor Bob McDavid wants to make sure a redesign of the Columbia Regional Airport terminal is on Columbia City Council members’ minds.
"We've got 350,000 passengers from Boone and Cole County driving to St. Louis and Kansas City," McDavid said at Tuesday's council meeting. "If it's our intention to capture a larger market, we’re going to have to have a larger terminal."
Efforts to expand services at the airport have been an ongoing project for city officials for several years. This has included an update of the airport's master plan and securing an FAA grant that will be used to improve and expand existing taxiways at the airport. McDavid said the redesign of the existing terminal would be an important step in improving the attractiveness of the airport, given other regional options.
City Manager Mike Matthes agreed with the mayor.
"To do more with the airport than we are today, we simply have to have a terminal that can house more than 50 people," Matthes said.
Architectural firm Reynolds, Smith, & Hills provided two concept designs for an expansion of the existing terminal, each occurring in two phases. In a letter to the council, Gregory Cecil, chairman of the Columbia Regional Airport Advisory Board, recommended an addition on the south end of the existing terminal, which would create a new entry room to the airport and a new departure lobby that is nearly triple the size of current facilities.
Cecil cited a lack of interruption of services, clear taxiways and a lower cost as advantages of the southern addition.
Estimated costs for the southern addition total $17.1 million. The north development plan would cost an estimated $26 million. Funds for a terminal addition have not yet been allocated.
"If, of course, we decide to build a terminal, we will build a terminal commensurate with the amount of money we have, which is yet to be determined," McDavid said.