Exterior demolition temporarily halted


The Charleston County Aviation Authority today distributed the following information about the recent discovery of asbestos-containing materials on outside walls at Charleston International Airport.

Keeping our pledge to keep the community informed about our construction project, we are distributing this to the news media as well. The uncovering of concealed asbestos-containing material is not unusual in a building that is nearly 30 years old and in a construction project of this magnitude. More importantly, the airport is acting swiftly to address this and we want employees, tenants and the traveling public to know that the airport is safe.

The message to our stakeholders is as follows:

At the outset of the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP), the CCAA pledged to keep people informed and safe during the construction process. The welfare and safety of those who work in the airport and our passengers is a top priority. The airport remains a safe place to work and travel through.

Before renovations began, the CCAA hired experts to survey and test for any asbestos that might be in the terminal. That testing found limited asbestos-containing materials in the glue under vinyl flooring in a handful of areas in the airport. All state and federal regulations regarding containment, handling and removal of the asbestos-containing glue are being followed.

Late last week, suspected asbestos-containing material that has been concealed behind brick and concrete walls was uncovered in two construction areas: in front of the terminal and behind the outside walls of Concourse A. Preliminary test results indicate that the glue used to install vapor barriers (waterproofing material) has tested positive for containing asbestos materials.

As a result of these recent findings, the CCAA administrative team, program manager and the construction manager took immediate steps:

  • Demolition in the affected areas immediately ceased. The areas remain barricaded for safety.
  • The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control was immediately notified. A representative has been invited and is scheduled to help the airport assess the affected areas and recommend a course of action for removal and for future demolition.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, air quality monitoring systems are being installed in the demolition areas.
The discovery of additional concealed asbestos-containing material is not unusual in a building that is nearly 30 years old and in a construction project of this magnitude. We do not anticipate any interruptions to airport operations. Construction continues in other parts of the airport. We want our airport partners, employees and the traveling public to be assured that your welfare and safety is important to us and that we are working diligently and quickly to address this.


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