Warren Wise of The Post and Courier reports on some significant progress on a land swap in an effort to re-locate International Boulevard and a new airport entrance road – and allow Boeing to expand its local operations. The final step appears to be approval by the FAA.
CHS International Airport is almost finished with its $200M makeover with two refurbished gates now open and three more to be delivered by the end of March. Warren Wise of The Post and Courier has the story here.
If you thought the airport was crowded lately, with passenger and airline growth, Charleston International Airport passengers (arriving and departing) rose 14% in the past quarter over the same quarter last year. From July through October 2015, 1.25 million passengers used the airport, an increase of over 150,000 persons. The Post and Courier’s Warren Wise has the story here.
Officials at Charleston County Aviation Authority are expecting outbound ticketholders to total 2 million in 2023, 25% higher than the record 1.5M reached just last year. Since 2010, CHS has seen a 55% increase in passenger growth. The airport just underwent a $200M expansion and renovation adding five new gates. Delta has the lion’s share of the market here with 32%, American/USAir, now combined, totaled 25%, followed by Southwest at 18% which just started service here in 2010, followed by United at 13% and JetBlue at 11%, but just two years old here. The Post and Courier’s Warren Wise has the story and statistics here.
The Great Northwest and The Lowcountry are now connected with the first non-stop service between the Seattle on the West Coast and CHS with 3x a week service beginning in November. John McDermott of The Post and Courier has the story here.
JetBlue is adding Fort Lauderdale to its itinerary out of CHS with direct non-stop flights to Fort Lauderdale this Fall. They already offer service to New York, Boston and Washington DC, while American offers service to Miami and Silver Airways serves Tampa and Orlando out of CHS. Other recent announcements include Alaska Airlines offering services to Seattle also beginning in November and Porter Airlines with seasonal (Feb-May) service with Toronto. CHS Airport is undergoing a $189M expansion and renovation that will be mostly finished by year-end 2015. Warren Wise has the complete story here for The Post and Courier.
Alaska Airlines will start non-stop service between CHS and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in November, four days a week, all thanks to CHS’ #1 ranking as the top U.S. city to visit for now four years in a row, and Boeing workers and contractors needing linkage between the Pacific Northwest and the Lowcounty. It is the third new carrier to announce service to CHS in 2015 alone – after Silver Airways offered service to some Florida cities and Porter Airlines opened up seasonal service between CHS and Toronto. Warren Wise of The Post and Courier has the story.
John McDermott and Warren Wise report for The Post and Courier on the strengths and momentum of the CHS economy, and some of its challenges. Some highlights:
- 43 newcomers move to CHS region every day
- 25,000 new jobs by the end of the decade
- 5,000 new jobs in 2015 and again in 2016
- Port of CHS will have another double-digit year of growth, with container growth at 15% and 8% in 2016
- Moderate increases in building permits (6,000-6,500 for the next two years) and home sales and values
- 3.8% more passenger at CHS airport after gaining 7% in 2014
- Retail sales will moderate to 2.8% in 2015 and 2016, down from an astounding 5.4% in 2014
Some of the challenges/concerns are labor/wage inflation for employers to find qualified workers, and where is everyone coming going to live – suburban sprawl or more intense infill development?
A study from the CHS Metro Chamber of Commerce suggests the aviation industry – primarily the big three of the airport, CHS Air Force Base, and Boeing – are responsible for some $13.9B and 51,000 jobs to the local economy. That’s 40% of the local economy and 16% of the local job base. Sounds like a lot, but the airport’s impact is huge; not to discount Boeing’s affect, but a similar study in 2011, pre-Boeing, suggested 34k jobs and 12% of the region’s employment, but the dollar figure has doubled from about $7B four years ago. Some interesting additional stats:
- Boeing alone accounts for $11B to the local economy, with 8,200 direct workers and sustaining another 20,000 jobs in the region
- Boeing’s growth will continue with its new paint hangar, the recently opened air inlet facility and when it begins its sole production of the 787-10, the largest version of the wide-body aircraft.
- The airport, now eclipsing 3M passengers a year, accounts for 3,915 direct jobs, while visitors using CHS account for some $450M in spending on their visits sustaining another 6,181 jobs.
- The Air Force Base employs 7,300 active-duty and civilian workers and supports another 5,000 jobs with a total economic impact of $1.7B.
Porter Airlines will begin its weekly service between CHS and Toronto. For now, its seasonal service until May 2. Separately, in mid-March, Silver Airways starts service between CHS and Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. Warren Wise of The Post and Courier has the story.