Columbia SC Airport

COLUMBIA METROPOLITAN AIRPORT

Columbia's Modern 
Airport Columbia Metropolitan Airport is located six miles southwest of Columbia's central business district and is also conveniently located near three interstate highways which run through Columbia -- I-20, I-26, and I-77. Interstate 95 is about 55 miles away. The airport is much like a 2600-acre city with more than 50 agencies and businesses located on the airport property. Air passenger and cargo service is offered by scheduled airlines, jet freight carriers, two fixed base operators and various charter flights.

Air operations are conducted on two runways. Runway 11/29 measures 8600' x 150' runway 5/23 measures 8000' x 150'. In 1997, the airport completed a major terminal renovation project to accommodate the approximate one million annual passengers. In October 2003, a new parking garage opened with 1835 spaces. Combined with surface parking, the Airport has available 3,505 public parking spaces. Valet parking is also available.

Scheduled airline service by:
American Eagle, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Spirit, United and USAirways

Car rental agencies:
Alamo/National, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty

The airport is located on SC Highway 302 off I-26 at exit 113. The address is:
Columbia Metropolitan Airpot (CAE)
3000 Aviation Way
West Columbia, SC 29170

For more information, call (803) 822-5000 or toll-free: (888) 562-5002


Official Columbia Metropolitan Airport Website

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History

In the early 1940's, early aviation pioneers established a landing area in Lexington County known as the Lexington County Airport. The site was selected because of elevation, the nature of the terrain and the good soil in the area upon which to construct facilities such as taxiways, aprons and runways.

Around 1941, the United States War Department acquired the Airport from Lexington County and expanded it dramatically to serve the effort for World War II. In 1942, Jimmy Doolittle, a famous military aviator and legend, traveled to Columbia and called volunteers for a secret military mission. Approximately twenty-five of these B-25 flight crews later flew the famous Doolittle Raid over Tokyo. The Doolittle raid was the first good news from the Pacific theater of operations.

Following the war, the land which the government had acquired for the war effort reverted to Lexington County. The City of Columbia eventually constructed a terminal building at the Lexington County Airport and airline operations that had been ongoing at Owens Field shifted to the Lexington County Airport. In the late 1950's, Columbia Mayor Lester Bates and others formed a study group to study how an Airport could be developed and administered to serve Richland County and Lexington County. From this study committee, legislation established the Richland-Lexington Airport District. Since 1962, the Airport District has operated the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

In 1983, the Airport was designated a U.S. Customs Port of Entry and in 1986, the Airport was designated Foreign-Trade Zone 127. In 1994, United Parcel Service selected Columbia Metropolitan Airport as the site for a UPS Southeastern Regional Hub.

Any size airplane can land at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport including the Boeing 747 and the military C5A. Over 1400 people now work at the Airport.

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