Inspections are a routine part of the life at an airport. They make airports safe for aircraft and passengers alike. What’s not routine is preparing for and passing a rigorous inspection with flying colors.
Each year CHS undergoes what is called a 14 CFR Part 139 inspection. This refers to a section of Federal Aviation Administration regulations for airport certification. The FAA sets standards for certification for approximately 550 U.S. airports with commercial passenger service.
CHS has received an exceptional inspection report for two consecutive years.
“This inspection is critical to continuing to safely operate the airport. A 100 percent score is significant for at least two reasons: It comes at a time of great upheaval due to the terminal redevelopment and because it demonstrates that CHS has an outstanding Operations Department,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, owner and operator of CHS.
During this inspection, regulators exam airport records as well as training, operations and compliance with emergency, fire and rescue procedures. It also conducts airfield inspections to ensure that lighting, pavement markings and signage comply with safety regulations. In Charleston International’s case, special attention has been given to safety during the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP) to renovate and expand the airport terminal.
“We commend you for the procedures you are using in the day-to-day operations of the airport. The appearance of the airport indicates they are effective,” said Warren Relaford, airport certification and safety inspector, in a letter to Campbell.
An exemplary inspection is no small fete, Campbell said.
“It takes a lot of time and effort to ensure that the airport is running safely and efficiently every day, not just when there is an inspection,” he said. “With the assistance of our joint use partners at Joint Base Charleston, we are pleased with the results of this year’s inspection.”
Joint Base Charleston owns the runways at Charleston International Airport and provides fire, rescue and emergency services for the airport. CHS shares the runways through a joint use agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense.