One shopper to win Treasure Chest during Chamber Days event

The speaker at tomorrow’s Southern Boone Economic Development Chamber Days Leadership Breakfast got a promotion just last week.

Acting manager of the Columbia Regional Airportw Mike Parks was named to the position permanently, said a City of Columbia spokesperson last Thursday.

Parks will be speaking to Southern Boone business leaders at the breakfast about the future of the airport and, most assuredly, business opportunities around the airport at Thursday’s meeting. That development will be on property owned by Hummingbird Properties and developer Larry Potterfield and is in the city limits of the City of Ashland.

Parks was previously airport operations supervisor. He was named acting manager after Tamara Pitts resigned in December after only two months on the job.

Parks, 41, will manage a large number of capital projects in the upcoming year, including a $38 million dollar facelift of the airport terminal. The new terminal plans have yet to be finalized, but will be paid for by a bed tax as well as 90% of Federal Aviation Administration funding.

On Monday, the City of Columbia also approved matching funds for $2.8 million in construction for taxiway C at the airport, which also will be paid 90% by FAA funding. Currently taxiway 13-31 is undergoing a $12 million expansion, expected to be complete this summer. The expansion will widen the runway from 75 feet to 100 feet and lengthen the runway by 1,000 feet. The expansion will make the airport more competitive in bringing in more commercial flights.

According to the City of Columbia, business has been good at the airport in the past year. Enplanements have increased from 35,428 in 2010 to 64,341 in 2015. Flights include two American Airlines flights daily to Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth airports. Beginning Aug. 1, United Airlines will offer one flight daily to Denver International Airport and twice-daily flights to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

The airport budget is about $9.7 million After the Thursday breakfast, Chamber Days will include a number of events.

~ Please see today’s Journal for a listing of Chamber Days events ~

By Bruce Wallace