Columbia airport prepares for more passengers

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Columbia Regional Airport is preparing for passenger numbers to take off in August, when United Airlines begins flights to Denver and Chicago.

United announced in late February that it would offer a daily flight to Denver and twice-daily flights to O’Hare International in Chicago, beginning Aug. 1.

The city’s economic development director, Stacey Button, told the Airport Authority Board Wednesday the flights are expected to bring in about 80,000 inbound and outbound passengers to the airport this year.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Button also said American Airlines is expected to attract 145,000 passengers this year, a 14 percent increase from last year. In 2016, 128,000 passengers used the airport.

To prepare, the airport is adding 258 parking spots and adding extra seating inside the airport.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune