Missouri football team anticipates difficulties for upcoming travel | Mizzou Football

Columbia Regional Airport’s construction expansion has led to problems with scheduling charter flights for the MU football team. 

Missouri football coach Eliah Drinkwitz said at a news conference Tuesday the team had “a little bit of a snafu because of the Columbia Airport being under construction right now.”

For Saturday’s game in Lexington, Kentucky, Drinkwitz said half of the team’s travel party will fly out of St. Louis and the other half will fly out of Columbia.

“Potentially none of us can fly back to Columbia, depending on the weather and the weight limit on the plane,” Drinkwitz said.

The construction is intended to add flights to the airport and help to bring visitors into Columbia, the Missourian reported. These additions include possible flights to airports such as Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Columbia Regional Airport announced the expansion in March 2015. Construction officially began in summer 2020. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2022.

“A longer runway will allow aircraft longer distances for take offs and landings, which is especially beneficial during inclement weather,” airport manager Mike Parks wrote in an email.

Despite recent construction, Parks said the runways are open, but availability for outside charter flights may vary.

“Charters and all other aircraft make decisions about flights based on runway and facility availability and their specific aircraft performance,” Parks said.

The Chamber of Commerce also uses the airport to fly out of Columbia for business. Lily White, vice president for external affairs, said the Chamber was not warned to expect delays in charter flights due to the expansion.

Despite Drinkwitz’s concern, the MU Department of Athletics has yet to voice any concerns regarding travel delays for any organization due to the recent construction.

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