Airport expands, CHS passengers break travel records


Charleston International Airport greeted a record 3.4 million passengers in 2015, breaking its 2014 record and marking a fifth consecutive year of growth.

“Passenger traffic has more than doubled since 2001 and we know from our own studies that the growth is continuing at a rate faster than our projections,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the airport’s owner and operator, the Charleston County Aviation Authority. “And we are already at passenger levels predicted for 2025.

“It’s a good challenge to have,” Campbell said.  “It means we need to look ahead to how we keep up with the growth while we continue to provide outstanding service for our passengers and help our airlines, rental car operators and other concessions prosper.”

The airport’s growth is due in part to the strength of the region’s tourism and aerospace manufacturing sectors.

It also is due to growth in business at the airport. In 2015, CHS added three new airlines and six new destinations. Three more air service routes are planned for the first half of 2016. In addition, airlines like Delta, JetBlue and Southwest are flying larger planes into CHS. More seats equates to more passengers, Campbell said.

The $199 million Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP) began in 2012 to position CHS for future growth and to give the Lowcountry a first-class modern and efficient airport facility.  Construction is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2016.

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