Charleston International Airport will more than double its parking capacity with a new five-story, 3,000-space parking deck, set to open in fall 2020.
Site prep is underway on the western part of the airport’s main surface lot to make room for the new structure. It will sit near the existing three-story parking deck, which was built in 2005 and has 1,268 spaces.
Rental car companies will occupy the entire first floor of the new garage — relocating from a surface lot next to the airport — leaving the second through fifth floors for passengers, said Britton Corbin, Charleston County Aviation Authority’s engineering director. Roy Anderson Corp. of Gulfport, Miss., and LS3P of Charleston are leading construction.
The second parking garage is part of the aviation authority’s overall plan to restructure and expand parking offerings at the airport to accommodate the growing number of passengers traveling through Charleston each year. The airport handled a record 4.1 million passengers in 2018.
“The growth has really been the key factor,” said Hernan Pena, the authority’s deputy executive director and chief operating officer. “The demand for parking has increased.”
The surface lot, which sits behind the original parking garage, had to be restructured to make room for the new parking deck. The recently completed work involved adding more spaces to make up for those lost to construction and reconfiguring the parking spaces to face the airport. Passengers will walk through covered walkways in the garages to access the terminal.
The airport will have 6,583 spaces between its two parking garages and the main surface lots once construction finishes.
The authority also doubled the capacity of the cell phone lot to 80 spaces and added 200 spaces to the remote parking lot. A free shuttle service runs between the remote lot and the terminal.
The overall parking expansion project costs around $100 million. Construction is funded through bonds and airport revenue.