Charleston International Airport honored by SC chapter of American Public Works Association

From left to right - SC APWA President Frank Pandullo, Britton Corbin, director of engineering, Charleston County Aviation Authority; Awards Chairperson Dana Higgins.

Charleston International Airport’s terminal redevelopment, which wrapped in late 2016, has been honored by the South Carolina Chapter of the American Public Works Association as its 2017 Public Works Project of the Year.

The award was presented during the chapter’s state conference in July. It recognizes outstanding achievements in transportation public works projects. Overall, the APWA awards program promotes excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliances between managing agencies, consultants, architects, engineers and contractors who together complete public works projects.

“Although several impressive projects were submitted for the 2017 SCAPWA Project of the Year, the awards committee chose the Charleston County Aviation Authority’s project due to the complexity and size of the project,” said state chapter President Frank Pandullo.

“Performing renovations while having a fully operational terminal is a construction scheduling challenge that was easily overcome during this project,” he said. “We commend the Aviation Authority for undertaking the project, and compliment the Aviation Authority on the receipt of the award.”

Pandullo went on to say “the space created to accommodate the growth from 1.6 million passengers in 2000 to the more than 3.7 million passengers in 2016 will continue to allow growth to the terminal in the years to come.

Of special note, Pandullo said “the design of the 18’ tall and 32’ wide dome in the Central Hall and Arrivals area is both beautiful and functional” and give passengers a visual connection from the curbside to the airfield.

Charleston International Airport underwent a complete transformation inside and out between 2012 and 2016, without disruptions to air travel. The unprecedented project turned the 30+-year-old airport into a modern, sophisticated hub of air travel for its 3.7 million passengers and gave the Charleston region an airport fitting for a vibrant, growing community. The project wrapped in October 2016 with a formal rededication.

The airline boarding areas underwent complete renovation to include new seating, restrooms and improved amenities such as individual power outlets, more shopping and dining options and improved signage. On Concourse B, five new gates were added (for a total of 15 airport wide) and 15 new jet bridges were installed across both airport concourses.

A new Central Energy Plant was built to provide highly efficient and remotely manageable environmental systems. The program also included new inbound and outbound baggage handling systems.

“We’re honored to receive this award because it is from an organization in which many of its members had a role in helping make the terminal redevelopment a success,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Aviation Authority.

“Despite the challenges of renovating while operating the airport and experiencing significant growth that experts did not predict for another 10 years, everyone involved in the project persevered,” Campbell said. “Today we have an airport that will take us into the future and one that the community can be proud of.”

The SCAPWA award is the fourth for the terminal redevelopment. Others are:

• Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives Commercial Airport 2017 Project of the Year.
• Charleston Metro Chamber 2016 Beacon award.
• Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau 2016 Golden Pineapple award.