COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia Regional Airport is doing better than other airports its size according to the Government Accountability Office.
The office told congress there are fewer flights and fewer seats available at airports all over the country, particularly the smaller ones.
But, the Columbia airport has not been shrinking at all, in fact, it has been adding flights.
Just last month, the airport added a second daily flight to Chicago. That is in addition to the two flights it already has to Dallas.
Airport officials say the fact that Columbia customers can fly almost anywhere from Chicago and Dallas- makes it a success.
"I think the smaller airports in other parts of the country have difficulties. They aren't essential air service to major international hubs where people can connect to basically the world. Here in Columbia, we are very fortunate. We have two major international hubs and it will take a person flying out of here just two hops to anywhere in the world," said airport manager Don Elliot.
Elliot says comfort also attracts customers.
"Smaller airports are still using turbo prop aircraft for essential air services. Right now, we are using regional jets," said Elliot.
And Elliot says saving money on some things- keeps customers coming back.
Columbia Regional Airport offers free parking and WiFi. But, Elliot says the esay access is what brings in most Mid Missourians.
"Our catch area consists of the Lake of the Ozarks, to Moberly, to Fulton, to Boonville. In that area about 45,000 people are buying airline tickets," said Elliot.
Last year, the airport served around 80,000 people. Airport officials say they hope to surpass that number this year.
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