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Record-Breaking July 4th Travel at Charleston International Airport

by CiCi
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston International Airport (CHS) experienced a record-breaking surge in passenger numbers during this year’s July 4th holiday period, with nearly 117,000 travelers passing through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints from June 27th to July 7th. This marks a 12% increase from the same period last year.

“So many people in here. I’ve never seen this many people,” remarked Cortney Tranovich, who was flying to Pennsylvania on Monday evening.

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In an effort to avoid the heavy crowds, Lowcountry residents Paul and Ann Grizzle chose to travel after the holiday. “It’s really getting busy at the airports these days and over the holiday, and we decided to wait until today to avoid some of the record-breaking counts that they’ve had,” Paul Grizzle said.

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Reflecting on changes since the pandemic, Ann Grizzle noted, “Things are so different since the pandemic. Before, I’d allow 45 minutes. Now it’s two hours, three hours I allow in between my stops.”

This significant increase in Independence Day air travel at CHS aligns with national trends. TSA officials reported screening over 3 million people at U.S. airports on Sunday, setting a new record for the most passengers in a single day.

“It’s very exciting because it just proves to us that, you know, we’re on the right track. That travel is back,” stated Spencer Pryor, CHS Deputy Executive Director and Chief Communications Officer, regarding the high passenger numbers.

July 7th was the busiest day of the travel period at CHS, with 13,366 passengers recorded. To accommodate the growing demand, CHS is planning up to $1 billion worth of improvements over the next five to seven years. Pryor shared that the airport is already in the design phase for a new 5,400-space parking garage.

“We’ll go into adding, potentially, what we call a west gate, where we will probably have about four to five additional west gates there. Then we’ll move back inside. We’ll do some ticketing hall expansion, the TSA checkpoint area expansion, we’ll do an east gate addition as well,” Pryor explained. “And then the bigger picture of it would be a full Concourse-C that will come on.”

Pryor attributed the record-breaking numbers to factors such as lower airfares and an increase in nonstop destinations. Last year’s July 4th travel period, which ran from June 29th to July 9th, saw over 104,000 passengers.

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