Years of renovations at Charleston International Airport celebrated Tuesday


Drop the flaps and hit the landing gear. Years of hard work were on final approach at Charleston International Airport. Tuesday was the day to celebrate the completion of the massive improvement project.

To celebrate the completion of the four-year project, there was a ribbon-cutting and re-dedication ceremony.

The airport began its facelift in late 2012, and executive director of the aviation authority Paul Campbell said the expansion and improvement project cost more than $200 million. Among improvements are 110,000 square feet of new space and five new gates, bringing the airport's gate total to 15.

Officials said there are now 16 nonstop flights out of Charleston International Airport to 21 different airports.

But the biggest bragging point, according to those involved in the project, is the impact of the airport renovation on people living in the Lowcountry.

"We're up to a $14 billion impact for the local economy," Campbell said. "Phenomenal too. People come here, they love Charleston, we want them to bring their jobs back, especially business folk. If they're tourists, want them to have fun, and then come back and leave their money here, that's important for us, it's vibrant, we're growing, doing the right things. We really are."

Another big upgrade is the security checkpoint. There's now just one spot for that.

Air travelers will also notice new restaurants and a new slick look.

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