Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 6:32 pm

Charleston Airport on track for record year after strong Thanksgiving week

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Thanksgiving travel increased a solid 10 percent over 2015, keeping Charleston International Airport on track toward a fifth consecutive year of record-breaking passenger numbers.

The airport saw 95,156 passengers flying in and out of CHS during Thanksgiving week. That is up from 86,450 passengers in 2015.

Each of the last four years Charleston International has broken records for passenger counts. Last year’s record topped 3.4 million people. Through October this year 3.1 million people have already flown in or out of the airport. That’s an increase of a quarter-million people compared to the same 10 months of 2015.

“We’ve witnesses and been a part of a big shift in travel,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. “Suddenly Charleston isn’t just a world-class destination for leisure travelers – it is at the center of economic development in the Lowcountry and state of South Carolina.”

Charleston International Airport provides nonstop air service to 21 airports in 16 U.S. cities, the most of any South Carolina airport.  The airport pumps more than $1 billion dollars annually into the region’s economy through jobs at the terminal and those created to serve visiting travelers and support businesses that have moved here.

Christmas travel is not as busy as Thanksgiving, but CHS expects to be busy. Travelers should plan ahead and arrive early to find parking, check in and go through security screening in time to board their flights.

Santa arrives at CHS on Dec. 13

He’s making a list and checking it twice to see who in the Lowcountry has been naughty or nice.

That’s right! Santa Claus is coming to town, Charleston International Airport, specifically. Jolly ole Saint Nick is leaving Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen at the North Pole with Rudolph and is jetting in on Delta Air Lines on Dec. 13.

“We expect an on-time arrival and we are really looking forward to welcoming Santa back to Charleston,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, owner and operator of Charleston International Airport. “Last time Santa visited the airport we were under construction. We think he will be pleasantly surprised as how the airport has been transformed through our terminal redevelopment.”

After Santa arrives he will visit passengers young and old on Concourses A and B and in the Central Marketplace. At around 11 a.m. he will come into the public Central Hall where he will be available to collect any last-minute Christmas wish lists and pose for photos.

Passengers and airport employees with children are welcome to come meet Santa. CHS’s communications team will take photos and post them on the airport Facebook page.

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