The new year means a new airport for Charleston, its residents and for record-breakingmillions of people that annually fly in and out of CHS.
The Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP) is transforming the 30-year-old airport terminal. Work is scheduled to wrap up in the spring of 2016.
So far, we’ve opened brand new facilities such as the consolidated security checkpoint, central energy plant and rental car pavilion. Concourse B has grown from 5 to 10 airline gates and is a bright, open and welcoming place for passengers to either wait for a departing flight or to arrive in the Lowcountry.
Major renovations are complete in baggage claim, the airline ticketing hall and along the front curb. Some work continues in those areas but passengers are able to see how the renovation has progressed and what the airport will be like when work is done.
“FINALLY got to see the @CHS_Airport upgrades first hand. It looks fantastic!” said a passenger that goes by the handle @CHS AvGeek on Twitter.
Chris Piedmont, a former Charleston resident now working in New York, tweeted “Well @CHS_airport has certainly gotten a nice facelift. Well done!”
Twitter follower @catyycainn, a Charleston graphic designer, recently tweeted “Oh hey there @CHS_Airport you sure look purdy now!”
Passenger experience is important to us. The design takes that into account. For example, today’s passengers want to check in and get through security then relax with a meal or a drink at the bar and some shopping. That’s why most of the food and retail concessions are now located after security in U.S. airports.
After security two retail stores – Hudson Store and Low Country Harley Davidson – are open. Also open is the new DeSano Pizza Bakery on Concourse B. Coming in 2016: a second Harvest and Ground bakery and coffee shop (the first is near ticketing), Caviar and Bananas, Dunkin Donuts, Charleston Beer Works and the Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear Grill along with a Burger King. Retail stores to come are Tech on the Go and Eddie Bauer.
Before security, work continues in the Central Hall, which is now the arrivals area for all passengers flying into Charleston International Airport. Minor work continues in baggage claim on one side of the Central Hall and in ticketing on the other side of the Central Hall as well as on the front curb.
Major construction is ongoing in the food court and on Concourse A, which will look just Concourse B when it is complete. Part of the Concourse A renovation is slated to open in February. The board area has been split in two during construction.
The goal of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, a special purpose district that owns and operates the airport as well as two general aviation facilities, is to provide a first-class facility that echoes the culture and beauty of Charleston, the Lowcountry and the state of South Carolina.
The airport is an important part of the economic engine that drives the South Carolina Lowcountry. For business travelers and tourists looking to soak up the grace and charm of the region, the airport is the first and last impression for passengers.
In 2014 we set a record of 3,131,072 passengers flying in and out of the airport. We’ve already busted that record through November 2015 with 3,143,153. December’s passenger data is expected to put 2015 at 3.4 million passengers.
“It’s been a great 2015 at Charleston International Airport,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., CCAA executive director and CEO. “We have added new service and our terminal redevelopment is a few months from wrapping up. We’re excited for our passengers to now see what’s to come when the renovation is completed in 2016.”