The physical structure of Charleston International isn't the only thing changing this year at the state's busiest airport. A senior management position will see a new face as well.
Bill New, deputy director of the Charleston County Aviation Authority under former agency head Sue Stevens and now airports director Paul Campbell, plans to step down in six months.
New was supposed to leave this month, but after further reflection and a little arm-twisting by some board members in September, he decided to stay through June, when he will turn 62.
Several factors figured into that decision: the ongoing $189 million terminal expansion project, a boost in his salary and Campbell's service in the state Legislature, which goes back into session Jan. 14 for the better part of three days a week until June 5.
With Campbell, a state senator, away and so much going on, airport leaders thought it wise to keep New around until he could be replaced at the end of the legislative session, which almost coincides with New's pending retirement on June 30.
Just who his replacement will be is anyone's guess. A search has been talked about privately for a few months, but it will pick up steam with the new year.
The aviation authority will look internally for job candidates and advertise with national aviation trade organizations, such as the American Association of Airport Executives and Airport Council International.
"We are going to see what's out there," Campbell said. "Of course, we have some top-notch people inside the organization who could step up, too. If we bring someone from the outside, we could do some restructuring."
Campbell called New's experience "invaluable to the operation of the airport, especially after Sue left last summer." New manned the ship for about a month before the 13-member board voted 8-5 to hire Campbell in late August.
New started at the airport as police chief in 1995 before moving up the ranks to become deputy airports director in 2007. Prior to that, he served 21 years with North Charleston Police Department.
Although New serves as deputy director, he earns the salary Stevens commanded when she stepped aside after board members boosted his payroll by $36,000 in September. He receives $211,000 a year. Campbell, the director, earns $192,000 a year.
New's replacement, the new deputy director of Charleston County's three airports, is expected to be named before his scheduled retirement.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.