Passenger travel in February broke records at Charleston International Airport. Record-setting passenger traffic since 2001 has fueled not only the airport’s growth but its impact on the local and state economy.
Compared with February 2017, overall passenger totals increased nearly 10 percent to 260,585 people. The number boarding an outbound flight (enplanements) in Charleston increased 8.9 percent to 129,148 people. The number of people flying into town (deplanements) increased 10.7 percent to 131,437 people in February.
“We’re fortunate in the Lowcountry to have both a growing business climate with Boeing, Volvo, Mercedes and the tech sector as well as a vibrant tourism sector. As people are visiting and doing business here in increasing numbers, the airport is a beneficiary of the growth,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
Airports in the state are important economic engines and essential to the state’s transportation infrastructure, according the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission. In a commission study released earlier this month
, the statewide economic impact of 51 public general aviation airports and six commercial airports reached into the billions of dollars in direct and indirect annual payroll, spending and total economic activity.
Charleston International Airport, Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island and Mount Pleasant Regional Airport, all owned by the Aviation Authority, have a combined total annual economic impact of $10.2 billion. CHS is the largest of South Carolina’s commercial airports, topping 3.9 million passengers in 2017.
The Charleston region supports 62.5 percent of the total statewide economic impact of publicly owned, public use airports, according to the aeronautics commission.
“We’re proud of our role in support of the local and state economy,” Campbell said. “Now that we are entering peak travel season of spring and summer, we expect to see the airport, our airlines and our tenant partners continue to grow and prosper in 2018.”
South Carolina Aeronautics Commission 2018 Economic Impact reports