Charleston airport to get major upgrades

Charleston airport to get major upgrades

Charleston International Airport is about to get a $200 million facelift.  As carriers continue to expand service, many of the airport’s outdated facilities have become congested.

Courtesy Charleston County Aviation Authority

Passenger numbers have spiked at the South Carolina airport since Southwest Airlines launched flights in March.  In 2010, the airport handled just over 1 million passengers.  That number is expected to double by 2030.

“We are having growing pains — big time,” said airport spokeswoman Becky Beaman to the Post and Courier.

The main passenger terminal, constructed in 1985, is about to receive its first renovation.  The expansion will include six additional gates, additional retail spaces, and larger baggage claim areas.  The project, expected to begin in late 2012 will help the terminal expand its square footage by over 25%.

Also included in the expansion will be a new parking garage that will allow the airport to double its 1200 space capacity in the future.

In a seperate project, Charleston’s main 9000-foot runway will get a total dig-up and repaving courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, who has a base that shares the runway at the airport.  Work is expected to begin in the early part of 2012, and will last about 9 months.

The terminal and parking expansion is expected to take about four years for completion.

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