Columbia Regional Airport may add additional flight to Chicago

Councilman: New flight may lead to tax break for residents

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia Regional Airport could get another flight to Chicago.

Currently, American Airlines offers one flight a day to Chicago and two flight to Dallas.

A new proposal would add another flight, but also cost the city. The city currently guarantees American Airlines $2.5 million in revenue; the new proposal ups that amount. The city would increase the guaranteed revenue to $3 million, while also adding a new flight and extending the contract with the airline.

The city pays American for the months the airline does not sell enough seats to meet the agreed-upon revenue.

However, the city hasn't had to pay the airline the past seven months.

Columbia City Council members say an additional flight to Chicago every day would help American reach the amount in the Air Service Revenue Guarantee, keeping the city from having to pay the airline.

Council members also say this could eventually lead to tax breaks for Columbia residents.

"It might help with some of the pressure relieving some of the transportation sales tax, and that tax pays for the airport subsidies," said councilman Karl Skala.

A bill featuring the new flight will be presented to the City Council at Monday's meeting. Members will vote on it at a later date.

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