Questions remain about why American, SkyWest canceled flights at Columbia airport – Columbia Missourian

Questions remain about why American, SkyWest canceled flights at Columbia airport - Columbia Missourian

American Airlines says Columbia runway to close for a week

COLUMBIA – American Airlines flights will be canceled for a week because of emergency runway construction, the airline said in a statement to KOMU 8 News.

“We believe the airport will have more details, but the runway will be closed temporarily – for approximately one week starting [Tuesday] morning,” American Airlines media relations said Monday.

Interim City Manage John Glascock held a press conference at the airport to talk about concerns expressed by the regional airline partners who fly into and out of Columbia for American Airlines and United Airlines. He said the runway would reopen April 16 and airlines could begin using it that day, though he said some might wait until April 17 to start flying again out of Columbia.

Flights canceled at Columbia, Mo., airport over runway concerns

The Interim City Manager will hold a press conference to address the concerns Monday at 2:30 p.m. at Columbia Regional Airport. 

"United Express partners SkyWest and Air Wisconsin will temporarily suspend operations," a spokesperson with the airline company wrote in an email. "We anticipate flights to COU to resume the evening of Monday, April 15, and have a travel waiver policy in place for our customers who are traveling to or from the airport."

Columbia airport runway to close for a week

“Right now, our plan will include most likely, at this point, a full closure for a short period of time so that we can address these concerns,” Community Relations Director Steven Sapp told KOMU 8 News partner KFRU. 

“As part of our ongoing discussions with the airlines, they have indicated that they are concerned about the “crown” on runway 2-20 where it intersects runway 13-31,” Interim City Manager John Glascock said in a statement. 

The airlines said over the weekend that the decision to stop flying came from the regional carriers, who cited safety issues with runway 13-31. City officials said the runway has met all regulatory requirements and the airlines had signed off on its use ahead of time.

“For [Tuesday], I would absolutely recommend you reach out to your airline and find an alternate flight,” he said. 

Glascock said Sunday and again Monday that the airlines had worries about the "crown" where runway 2-20 intersects runway 13-31. The crown helps drain water off the runway but can cause the feeling of hitting a bump on takeoff or landing, Glascock said..

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Runway 13-31 was built in 2017 in anticipation of the closure of runway 2-20 for rehabilitation, which began April 1. Glascock held the news conference after discussions about the crown issue and how to remove or reduce the structure with the airlines.

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