Columbia Regional Airport getting a second security line

Columbia Regional Airport getting a second security line

COLUMBIA, Mo. - UPDATE: The Columbia Regional Airport will have a new security line before the summer is out.

Airport manager Mike Parks said in Thursday's Airport Advisory Board meeting that the TSA has approved new equipment to form a second screening line.

"The flow of passengers going through there will be a whole lot more streamlined," he said.

Currently, dozens of passengers are waiting in one line which board members said can be a bit of a "zoo" in the mornings.

"We know that people who are flying out in that hour window in the morning where four flights are going out are starting to see that line grow and grow, so we've got some relief in sight," said city spokesman Steve Sapp.  

The second line will go directly to the life of the existing one and will require the rental car counter to relocate. Officials plan to move the counter to the snack bar area. The snack bar will be downsized a bit and no longer staffed.

Staff expects it to be operational by early August.

Hotel tax revenue numbers are on track to meet the city's goal of $10 million before the one percent hotel tax increase sunsets in 23 years.

Convention and Visitor's Board president Amy Schneider said that in the year and a half they've been collecting the extra one percent, it has yielded more than $800,000.

Numbers for fiscal year 2018 are down from 2017, mostly because the eclipse pushed lodging tax revenue up 7 percent in August, but Schneider is optimistic for the rest of 2018.

"Some of it had to do with April. MSHAA basketball wasn't here and it hurt us," she said. "But we're not far behind and May numbers are looking very strong as well as the rest of the summer."

You can find the lodging tax revenue numbers here.

Sapp said he didn't have a specific date the terminal project to be done or even when it would break ground. He said they're taking all the necessary steps but government progress is slow moving.

"We know this is frustrating for a lot of people because we've been talking about this for so long and I'm sure to a lot of people 'Oh, this is kind of a pipe dream and it's never going to happen,'" he said. "But I've worked for the city of Columbia for a long time and I know that working with different agencies, it just takes time to get everything lined up."

The city is moving forward with its plans. It approved an environmental study for the new proposed terminal location where a large hangar currently stands. At its meeting on Monday, council also approved demolishing that hangar and rebuilding it somewhere else to make room for the new terminal. The city owns the land but Central Missouri Aviation owns the building so the city will pay for the new hangar.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Columbia Airport Advisory Board is set to discuss several items relating to the new terminal project, as well as hear several reports from city leaders.

Under new business, the board will talk about hotel tax revenue information, enplanement figures and should have an update on the United revenue guarantee.

ABC 17 News reported last month that United had already used the full revenue guarantee of $600,000.

There will also be several reports from city leaders like airport manager Mike Parks and Convention and Visitor's Bureau president Amy Schneider. 

There will also be an updated presentation on the terminal project in general. City officials have slated the project to be finished by 2023.

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