Charleston airport board rescinds vote giving chairman power over director
Rep. Chip Limehouse no longer has authority over the director of airports in Charleston County.
Charleston County Aviation Authority on Monday unanimously reversed a vote earlier this month that gave Limehouse, who serves as chairman of the airport board, power to oversee the director.
The move set off howls of protest that it was a power grab by the chairman and illegal because it was not on the posted agenda.
In a letter to board members on Friday, Limehouse called for the board to rescind the decision.
“It became more of a distraction than it was worth,” Limehouse said Monday after the vote. “The real message is the overwhelming success of the airport while I have been chairman.”
Limehouse pointed to Charleston International Airport’s progress by landing low-cost carriers Southwest Airlines, which started service in 2011, and JetBlue Airways, which announced last week it will launch non-stop service Feb. 28 to and from New York and Boston.
Other positive changes at the airport include a $150 million makeover of its 27-year-old terminal, which will start in November, and a 30 percent increase in passenger traffic since last year.
Board members on Monday also accepted an $8 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help pay for expansion of the airport ramp, or apron.
The ramp must be widened before six new gates can be built. The $18.2 million ramp project will begin in October. Altogether, the airport received $15.2 million in federal money. The rest will come from the $4.50 passenger facility charge levied on all boarding passengers to help pay for the terminal expansion project.
Read more in Tuesday’s editions of The Post and Courier.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.