Charleston International Airport expecting ‘unprecedented number of passengers’
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials from the Charleston International Airport said they’re expecting an unprecedented number of passengers passing through the airport this year.
According to officials, Thanksgiving is traditionally their busiest time of year and they’ve taken extra precautions to ensure everyone makes it to their destination on time.
Hernan Peña, the Chief Operating Officer for the Charleston County Aviation Authority, said Tuesday and Wednesday are traditionally the peak traveling days before Thanksgiving, but they are preparing for another uptick on Sunday as people begin to return back to the low country.
He said they have prepared for the influx of travelers with additional security guards and other TSA staff on site.
The latest numbers from TSA report they screened over 17,000 people across South Carolina on Wednesday alone. Charleston saw 8,400 of that total, and TSA said they met their wait times across the state with no one waiting over 30 minutes.
Compared to years prior, Peña says they are expecting to break records with the potential of surpassing 50,000 passengers between Tuesday and Sunday.
“In 2019 we had our record year, pre-covid, then obviously 2020 it dipped. In 2021 we surpassed our 2019 numbers and this year; we think we are going to surpass last year’s numbers by 10-12 percent. So, it’s definitely going to be higher than what we had last year, breaking our record,” Peña said.
And it’s not only air travel that’s breaking records this year.
Triple A forecasts over 850,000 South Carolinians will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving, breaking last year’s record by almost 100,000 travelers.
As for those who are planning on heading to the airport Thursday, Peña suggests checking with airlines for flight status, confirming with TSA what items can be brought in a carry-on and arriving at least two hours early.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.