First of three new bag carousels opens


What’s shiny, runs in circles and carries a heavy load?

The new baggage carousel (No. 3 as we call it) at Charleston International Airport

We added a third baggage handling system as part of our Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP). Baggage Carousel No. 3 opened on Feb. 4. U.S. Airways and Delta Air Lines were the first to put it to use.

Aside from being much quieter than the older units, the area surrounding the carousel is brighter because of increased lighting, white walls and the bright white and gray terrazzo floors. These floors will be used throughout the renovated airport.

Up next? Carousel No. 2 has been demolished and will be replaced, followed by carousel No. 1. Throughout the construction in Baggage Claim, there always will be two operating baggage carousels to handle passenger luggage and checked belongings.

When all the new baggage handling systems are built, the remainder of the Baggage Claim Hall will be renovated. Dingy, low ceilings will be replaced with highceilings that will helpcreate a more open and spacious feeling throughout the airport. Accentuating the brighter more spacious area will be 16-foot-high glass walls that will extend allalong the front fa├žade of the terminal.

The rental car companies, which are currently housed in Baggage Claim, are scheduled to open in the new Rental Car Pavilion in mid-March. That will set the stage for the remainder of the Baggage Claim Hall renovation work to begin. Work is expected to be completed in the fall of 2014.

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