You only need to look at lines to see the soaring growth at Charleston International Airport. April was no exception – 400,135 people flew in and out of CHS, up 11 percent from April 2017. The evidence of the growth is everywhere:
- TSA at CHS is breaking records for the number of passengers screened before boarding departing flights.
- Lines at the airline ticket counters and in the checkpoint are longer.
- The parking lots fill much more quickly. Three times this month, the remote/seasonal parking lot was opened to accommodate overflow parking. Remote lots typically are only used during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
“That is a testament to Charleston being an internationally recognized city and top tourist destination. But it also is because we have great relationships with the eight airlines that serve our customers,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. “The airlines are growing too, adding flights, new destinations and larger aircraft with more seats. We now offer nonstop travel to 28 airports in 24 cities in the U.S.”
Charleston International Airport has consistently set records for passenger growth for much of the last decade – even while the terminal underwent a major redevelopment between 2013 and 2016.
In April, 13,338 people moved through the airport each day. Ten years ago it was 6,737 people a day. Double those numbers to account for “meeters and greeters,” those people who come to the airport to pick up or drop off passengers, Campbell said.
So far this year 1,245,256 people has flown in and out of the airport. During the same four months of 2017, the total was 1,169,843.
“It’s more important now than ever that our customers follow the airline and TSA recommendations to arrive at the airport early to park, check in and go through security,” Campbell said. “That’s two hours for domestic flights and three hours if making a connecting flight to an international destination due to additional screening that is required.”