CAE Begins Work on Multi-Year Airport Master Plan, Community Input Welcomed and Encouraged

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(Columbia, SC) – The Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) has begun work on a multi-year airport master plan project that will ultimately yield an introspective look at the airport’s current facilities, amenities and overall capacity to determine how it can better meet the needs of travelers for the next 20 years. 

“Airport Master Plans provide a needed roadmap of sorts for future growth and development,” said President & CEO, Mike Gula. “From this plan, we will be able to determine a comprehensive properties list, coupled with realistic timelines to implement projects that will grow this airport over the next two decades.”

Guiding CAE through this rigorous process is engineering firm, Mead & Hunt, whose aviation planning division specializes in developing airport master plans. Mead & Hunt has led numerous master planning projects at airports of all sizes across the United States, working collaboratively with airport owners and their local communities.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with CAE to discover what opportunities are yet untapped for future growth and enhancement of the passenger experience,” said Mead & Hunt’s project manager, Stephanie Ward, AICP. “We can’t wait to see what rises to the top as we work together to uncover where CAE’s interests as well as what’s most important to the air travelers and the community intersect and how CAE will plan to grow for the future.”

As part of the full airport master plan team, Mead & Hunt partnered with local marketing, communications and strategy company, DESA. In December of 2023, DESA collected traveler data through in-person surveys for multiple days across the terminal.

Throughout the year, a number of in-terminal survey collections will occur to ensure a diverse spectrum of responses, as well as traveler demographics are reached and

considered. Additionally, community and online fact-finding will continue throughout the airport master plan process.

With a needed focus on community and stakeholder involvement, CAE will also be forming an airport master plan advisory committee. This committee will be a collection of Midlands-based professionals, with diverse personal and professional backgrounds, that have a connection and need for strong air service. 

CAE invites the community at large to play a role in this important conversation by completing an online survey found at

From the homepage, click on “CAE Airport Master Plan” at the top of the page. Once there, scroll to the middle of the page and click on the link to complete the survey.

Survey results and general information will be periodically shared throughout the airport master plan process, with a larger presentation of results shared once completed.

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