With 1.8 million passengers already this year, Charleston International Airport (CHS) is on course to break another record in 2016.
In the first six months of the year, passenger counts are up 13 percent over the same six-month period last year. Enplanements and deplanements have climbed each year since 2010. At the current rate, the airport could set a 2016 record of 3.8 million or more people flying in and out of CHS.
“The growth of tourism and business in the Lowcountry has helped fuel the growth we are seeing at the airport. It is both a challenge to meet the needs of travelers and a welcome opportunity to be a contributor to the economic vitality of this region,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
Between January and June of this year, 1.8 million people have flown in and out of CHS. That is up from 1.6 million for the same six-month period in 2015. For the 12 months of 2015, CHS welcomed 3.4 million passengers.
Several factors have helped increase passenger counts at CHS – larger aircraft with more seats and new nonstop destinations, such as the first transcontinental flight to Seattle and a seasonal Southwest flight between the Holy City and Denver, the Mile High City. In addition, JetBlue added new service to Fort Lauderdale along with additional flights to Boston and Washington, D.C., and Southwest added daily nonstop service to Dallas Love Field.
“Our challenge now is to stay ahead of the growth.” Campbell said. “We are doing that by looking at our facilities and making plans for future expansion of our parking facilities and the terminal’s ability to accommodate additional airlines that can offer our passengers even more great travel destinations.”