Charleston airport renovation project at halfway point

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston County Aviation Authority's $189 million renovation project is halfway complete. On Friday, officials gave ABC News 4 a look at how much work has been done so far and how much more work still needs to be done.

Construction workers are chiseling away at a two-year project. They're expanding, renovating, and modernizing Charleston International Airport.

"As far as I know we have not had any serious complaints at all about the airport being deconstructed so we can reconstruct it and that's great," said Paul Campbell, Director of Airports for the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

He says the 24-month project is on time and on budget.

So far, the rental car pavilion and terminal apron expansion are completed. Now, workers are building a central energy plant to heat and cool the new terminal, adding a consolidated TSA checkpoint, and replacing utility lines.

"We're going to actually end up closing the front door of the airport probably within the next month or so and start putting together the big dome that goes on top of the airport and we're going to be setting it on top of the airport over the summer," said Campbell.

He says the terminal redevelopment and improvement program comes at a time when the airport is on pace to see a record 3 million passengers this year, with more expected next year.

"Passenger loads are going up, more flights are coming in, and we're still maintaining reasonably good passenger access and passenger comfort for the airport," said Campbell.

Project managers say other additions and upgrades are planned for South Carolina's busiest airport. But for another year, passengers will continue to see temporary inconveniences for a permanent improvement.

Campbell says the entire project should be complete by next fall.

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