Charleston International Airport
|Charleston International Airport
Charleston Air Force Base
|IATA: CHS – ICAO: KCHS – FAA LID: CHS
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Owner||Charleston County / U.S. Air Force|
|Operator||Charleston County Aviation Authority / U.S. Air Force|
|Location||North Charleston, South Carolina|
|Elevation AMSL||46 ft / 14 m|
|Source: Statistics from CHS|
Charleston International Airport (IATA: CHS, ICAO: KCHS, FAA LID: CHS) is a joint civil-military airport in North Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina. It has two runways and is operated under a joint-use agreement with Joint Base Charleston. It is South Carolina's busiest airport; in 2012 the airport served 2,593,063 passengers in its busiest year ever. The airport is in North Charleston, and approximately 13 miles northwest of downtown Charleston. The airport also is home to the Boeing South Carolina facility that assembles the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In 1928, the Charleston Airport Corporation was founded and purchased 700 acres of land previously belonging to a mining company. Although privately developed at first, the City of Charleston floated bonds in 1931 to acquire a portion of the site for passenger service. Within ten years, three runways were paved and outfitted with lighting for nighttime operations. In World War II, control of the airfield passed to the United States Army though civilian service was allowed to continue to use the airfield. After the war, the airfield reverted to civilian use for a short time. In 1949, a new passenger terminal was built.
During the Korean War, the airfield was reactivated for military use and in 1952, the City of Charleston and the United States Air Force reached an agreement on control of the base and the runways—an arrangement that has been renegotiated over time and that continues to this day. In 1979, the civilian portions of the airport were transferred from the City of Charleston to the Charleston County Aviation Authority, which had operated two other airports in the area. The current terminal on the south end of the airport was built in the 1980s on land acquired by Georgia Pacific.
In October 2009, Boeing that it would build a major plant on 265 acres at the airport as a second final assembly site for its 787 Dreamliner commercial aircraft. The facility began limited operations in July 2011 and rolled out its first completed aircraft in April 2012. Additional facilities to compliment aircraft assembly have since been announced by the company.
Throughout its history, all four domestic legacy carriers and their predecessor companies have served Charleston International Airport. Aside from the legacy carriers, Charleston has seen periods of additional air service from international and low-cost carriers. Air South served the airport in 1995 and 1996 before folding. In 2001, Air Canada briefly served Charleston from Toronto but ended service immediately after the September 11th attacks. AirTran Airways served the airport from 2007 to 2009.
In 2011 Southwest Airlines began service to Charleston, increasing passenger figures and reducing fares for most flights. In February 2013 JetBlue Airways began service to Charleston from New York (JFK) and Boston.
Facilities and aircraft
The Air Force owns and operates the runways at the airport and has an agreement with the Charleston County Aviation Authority to allow civilian use of the field. In 2009 secondary runway 3/21 was closed for nearly a year for reconstruction and resurfacing. In 2012 the main runway 15/33 was closed for reconstruction to replace the concrete and to extend the runway width from 150 feet to 200 feet. The main runway reopened in August 2013.
The current terminal was built in 1987 and was designed by Howard Needles Tammen & Bergendoff, Davis & Floyd, Inc., and Lucas & Stubbs. In recent years area officials have hoped to update the terminal's interior, which has been described as dated and dark. In 2013, the Charleston County Aviation Authority approved a $189 million Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP) which will upgrade amenities and facilities in phases over a three year period.
Airlines and destinations
All passengers check in at the main terminal, but flights depart from 2 concourses. Concourse A on the right and Concourse B on the left. Each concourse has its own TSA security checkpoint. The airport is equipped to handle international flights.
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|Delta Air Lines||
|ExpressJet (Delta or United)||
|Mesa (US Airways)||
|Republic (US Airways)||
|2||Charlotte, NC||198,000||US Airways|
|4||Washington (National), VA||69,000||US Airways|
|5||Chicago (Midway), IL||64,000||Southwest|
|6||New York (LaGuardia), NY||61,000||Delta|
|7||Washington (Dulles), VA||52,000||United|
|8||Chicago (O’Hare), IL||52,000||United|
|10||Philadelphia, PA||51,000||US Airways|
- 2012 Operations Report
- "Joint Civilian/Military (Joint-use) Airports". Airport Improvement Program. Federal Aviation Administration. 2002-03-06. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "AirTran pulling out of Charleston". WCSC. 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- "Banner year for Charleston International Airport". Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- FAA Airport Master Record for CHS ( PDF), effective 2007-12-20
- "Main Charleston area's airport runway to shut down for reconstruction June 18". Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- Airport History
- Wiesenthal, Eric (December 26, 1981). "Airport Taking Shape". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Charleston International Airport, official site
- Charleston Air Force Base, official site
- Anna.aero article, Analysis of airport traffic and serving airlines
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: