The increasing number of passengers at the Charleston International Airport over the last few years puts a lot of pressure on the airport officials who are now considering expanding the airport and its campus, multiple reports say.
According to the data provided by the airport officials, it looks like the number of passengers will most likely surpass the number of passengers in 2019 when a record number of passengers was recorded.
Leaders are looking at several options from adding gates in the existing concourses to building a brand new concourse altogether. Some of the structures being considered may only be a temporary solution.
“But it’s easy exit, no problems at all,” says Sauravh Khurana a passenger who says he frequently travels through Charleston International. Khurana says the airport is among the best he travels through.
The struggle for the airport officials is real since this is the first year from the Covid-19 recovery and they believe the number of passengers would have been even higher if this was a regular, non-pandemic year.
This is “good problem” for the airport and the surrounding areas, but it also means that there should be a way how the airport will expand in the future to meet the increased business operations.
“It’s elbow to elbow down there, I flew out on Monday to DCA and it was busy, there wasn’t a place to sit,” says Elliott Summey, Executive Director of Charleston International.
The increasing number of passengers is a normal trend since the Charleston region is growing, both in terms of population and number of businesses. Therefore, the problem with expanding the Charleston Airport has been discussed for the first time few years ago, but the much needed upgrade comes earlier than initially expected.
“New construction you’re talking a five-to-six-year period well the business is here now,” says Director Summey.
For now, officials are taking into consideration multiple types of facilities to be expanded including additional restaurants, parking facilities, holding rooms, adding new gates and more.
“Virtual technology, temporary gates, temporary parking facilities – we’re looking at the whole campus holistically,” says Director Summey.
Director Summey says they’ve brought in consultants to see what can be done on the campus. If officials decide to move forward with a temporary concourse structure, it would talk about 12 to 18 months to complete construction.