As the physical building expands at Charleston International, so will the number of people who work there, if the airport board approves the director's request for an 11 percent hike in the workforce Tuesday.
In a special meeting of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, Airports Director Paul Campbell will recommend one upgrade and 17 new full-time employees over the coming months at a cost of about $1 million, for almost an average of $59,000, including benefits.
The authority now has 154 full-time workers and oversees Charleston International and its two smaller airports in Mount Pleasant and on Johns Island. Part-timers total six.
Ninety percent of the new workers will mostly be "boots-on-the-ground," Campbell said. They include four police offi-cers, one police supervisor, three operations supervisors, one assistant manager of airport operations, six maintenance mechanics (two each in electrical, mechanical, and heating/AC), a vehicle maintenance mechanic and a systems technician for information tech.
The upgraded position involves board secretary Tammy Alexander, who was hired about two years ago.
Campbell recently reorganized the staff after naming two deputy directors and placing a "chief of staff" position on the organi-zational chart. He called it a "placeholder" post and has since changed the title to director of administration. He will ask the board to approve the position and upgrade administrative assistant Alexander to the slot. If approved, she will also oversee the information desk and see her salary rise from about $65,000 to nearly $100,000, said Al Britnell, deputy director of public safety and administration.
Campbell said the new hires won't come onboard all at once but will be added as progress develops on the nearly $200 million makeover of the terminal. Major construction is set to be completed by September 2015.
The cost of the new positions is not included in the current July through June budget, but Campbell believes increased revenue from the expected rise in passengers will help pay for the slots as they are filled.
Charleston International, the state's busiest airport, handled 2.9 million passengers last year, and that's expected to swell to 4 million in the next decade or so.
The nearly 30-year-old terminal is being upgraded to meet new security requirements and handle more passengers.
Campbell wants workers to be on site as work is completed to keep up with the added maintenance demands on the expanded terminal and its new equipment.
"We can't add 100,000 square feet ... with the same personnel," he said. "It just takes more bodies to do the work. I just want a green light to make adjustments as we need to make adjustments."
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524.