The Columbia Metropolitan Airport

THE COLUMBIA METROPOLITAN AIRPORT the Air Force and it became a commercial-use and general aviation airport. By the late 1950s, the City of Columbia, planning to make improvements to the Airport, realized that it could not do so alone.A Joint Study Commission was appointed which recommended the creation of the Richland-Lexington Airport District. It also proposed that a new airport, Columbia Metropolitan Airport, be constructed on the site of the then existing one.Today, the Airport is formally recognized as the Richland-Lexington Airport District (RLAD), a special purpose district of the state of South Carolina.The RLAD is governed by 12 commissioners -five members are appointed by the Lexington County Legislative Delegation, five members are appointed by the Richland County Legislative Delegation, and two members are appointed by the City Council of the City of Columbia. The Airport covers 2,600 acres and has two runways: 11/29 is 8,601 x 150 ft., and 5/23 is 8,001 x 150 ft. It also has a 50 x 50 ft. helipad.The center 75 feet of runway 5/23 is asphalt; the edges are grooved concrete. CAE has two large cargo aprons, a large commercial apron, and multiple GA aprons serv- ing the two local FBOs: Columbia Aviation and Eagle Aviation. Both FBOs have fueling and aircraft maintenance facilities, large corporate hangar fa- cilities, as well as T-Hangars and canopies.The Airport’s passenger terminal opened in 1965, replacing one that was built in the early 1950s. It was last renovated in 1997. Columbia Metropolitan Airport offers more than 30 daily non-stop flights,with con- nections to nine large U.S. cities. It is served byAmerican Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Express, and beginning this December,ViaA- ir.More than 1.1 million passengers travel through CAE each year. In addition, about a third of its total traffic is general aviation aircraft, and 20 percent of its passengers are military, as the Airport is within miles of Fort Jackson, a U.S.Army installation, ShawAir Force Base, home of the 20th Fighter Wing, and McEntire Joint National Guard Base. Columbia Metropolitan is also the state’s top cargo airport, served by Castle Aviation, FedEx, and UPS Airlines,which has one of its regional hubs there. It maintains a newly dedicated air cargo terminal, the Columbia Airport Enterprise Park (CAE Park) and Foreign Trade Zone #127. The Airport has 58 employees, is self-sufficient,