Columbia Regional Airport
|Columbia Regional Airport|
|Airport entrance, September 2007|
|IATA: COU – ICAO: KCOU – FAA LID: COU|
|Owner||City of Columbia|
|Elevation AMSL||889 ft / 271 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Columbia Regional Airport (IATA: COU, ICAO: KCOU, FAA LID: COU) is a city owned, public use airport located 10 nautical miles (12 mi, 19 km) southeast of the central business district of Columbia, in Boone County, Missouri, United States. The airport is served by two commercial airlines and provides general aviation services as well.
As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 12,719 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 26,842 enplanements in 2009, and 38,293 in 2010. It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).
Facilities and aircraft 
Columbia Regional Airport covers an area of 1,538 acres (622 ha) at an elevation of 889 feet (271 m) above mean sea level. It has two runways: 2/20 is 6,501 by 150 feet (1,982 x 46 m) with a concrete surface; 13/31 is 4,401 by 75 feet (1,341 x 23 m) with an asphalt surface.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2010, the airport had 25,717 aircraft operations, an average of 70 per day: 79% general aviation, 10% military, 9% scheduled commercial, and 2% air taxi. At that time there were 41 aircraft based at this airport: 44% single-engine, 24% multi-engine, 27% jet, and 5% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations 
|American Eagle||Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth|
|Frontier Airlines||Orlando (ends May 13, 2013)|
There are two flights leaving from Columbia Regional to Dallas/Fort Worth International, operated by American Eagle. Scheduled to leave twice a day at 6:45 AM and 5:40 PM, they arrive at Dallas-Fort Worth at 8:35 AM and 7:25 PM, respectively.
As of February 14th, 2013, American Eagle operates flights once a day to Chicago O'Hare International. Flights are scheduled to leave a 1:55 PM, and arrive at O'Hare at 3:20 PM.
Given the above departure and arrival times, it is no wonder why airlines are beginning to grow in favor of medium-sized cities, particularly Columbia, Missouri. With an ever increasing percentage of the population constituting undergraduate students at the University of Missouri - Columbia, as well as the university's graduate students, post-doc professors, and visiting faculty from a wide spectrum of foreign countries, it is only natural that the city's airport should serve as a means of transportation to a variety of international air travel hubs.
For undisclosed reasons, Frontier Airlines has cancelled flights to Orlando from Columbia after May 13th, 2013.
Prior to 2001 service was operated by Trans World Express (Trans States Airlines) using Jetstream 41 aircraft to St. Louis. After Trans World merged with American, American Connection (Trans States Airlines) provided service to St. Louis using Jetstream 41's until 2006. US Airways Express (Air Midwest) using Beechcraft 1900 aircraft replaced American Connection with service to Kansas City and St. Louis. Service to St. Louis was later dropped in favor of additional frequencies to Kansas City.
In 2008, Northwest Airlink (Mesaba Airlines) replaced US Airways Express using Saab 340 aircraft with service to Memphis. Later that year Northwest Airlines merged with Delta. Delta Connection switched service from Mesaba Airlines to Pinnacle Airlines using CRJ-200 aircraft in 2010. In June 2012, ExpressJet Airlines replaced Pinnacle Airlines as the Delta Connection carrier serving Columbia and service to Atlanta began. In October 2012, service to Memphis was dropped. ExpressJet operated service to Atlanta and Memphis using CRJ-200 aircraft. Delta pulled out of Columbia Regional Airport on February 13, 2013. In August 2012, Frontier Airlines announced plans to have flights twice weekly from Columbia to Orlando. In November 2012 Frontier started twice weekly flights to Orlando using Airbus A319 aircraft; Frontier will end service to Orlando on May 13, 2013.
On October 22, 2012, it was announced by Columbia mayor Bob McDavid that American Airlines and the City of Columbia reached an agreement that was approved by the Columbia City Council for air service from Columbia Regional Airport (COU) to Chicago O'Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth beginning in February 2013. The tentative schedule would provide two daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth and one daily flight to Chicago O'Hare.
- FAA Airport Master Record for COU ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- Essential Air Service documents (Docket OST-2006-23931) from the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Notice (February 9, 2006): of Trans States Airlines, Inc. d/b/a American Connection submitting notice of its intent to terminate service to Columbia, Missouri, on or after May 9, 2006.
- Order 2006-4-6 (April 11, 2006): prohibiting Trans States Airlines, Inc., d/b/a American Connection, from suspending its service at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, at the end of its 90-day notice period, and requesting proposals, with or without subsidy requests, from carriers interested in providing replacement service.
- Order 2006-6-21 (June 26, 2006): selecting Air Midwest, Inc. d/b/a US Airways Express, to provide essential air service at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, for a two-year period at a subsidy of $598,751 annually.
- Notice (January 21, 2008): Air Midwest, Inc. serving notice of its intent to discontinue scheduled subsidized Essential Air Service between Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri and both Kansas City, Missouri and St. Louis, Missouri effective April 20, 2008.
- Order 2008-2-2 (February 6, 2008): prohibiting Air Midwest from terminating its subsidized service at nine communities (Grand Island, NE; McCook, NE; El Dorado/Camden, AR; Harrison, AR; Hot Springs, AR; Jonesboro, AR; Columbia/Jefferson City, MS; Joplin, MS; Kirksville, MS) for 30 days beyond the end of its 90-day notice period, and requesting long term proposals from carriers interested in providing essential air service at any or all of the communities, with or without sibsidy, by February 29.
- Order 2008-5-2 (May 5, 2008): selects Mesaba Aviation, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Airlink to provide essential air service at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, beginning when the carrier inaugurates service through the 24th month thereafter. Scheduled Service: 20 nonstop round trips to Memphis each week. Aircraft type: Saab 340 (34 passenger seats). Annual compensation: $2,186,590.
- Order 2010-3-35 (March 31, 2010): relying on Delta Air Lines to provide subsidy-free essential air service (EAS) at Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri, and terminating the carrier-selection case effective September 1, 2010, when the currently effective EAS contract at the community expires.
- Columbia Regional Airport, official site
- Aerial image as of April 1995 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective May 2, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for COU, effective May 2, 2013
- Resources for this airport: