Charleston airport CEO Paul Campbell will pilot the state's busiest terminal for another year after the board approved a contract extension Thursday.
The unanimous vote came after a 90-minute, closed-door session.
Campbell's new salary is $300,000, or $50,000 more than he currently earns on the contract that expires in August.
Campbell, 72, took the helm of Charleston County Aviation Authority in 2013 and has been awarded subsequent two-year contracts with more pay each time.
The Goose Creek state senator started serving at $192,000 before his salary jumped to $225,000 in 2015. In 2017, the board boosted Campbell's pay to $250,000.
"I'm very humbled about the board's confidence in me, and I appreciate the opportunity to work at the airport," Campbell said.
The board wants to keep Campbell around because he is an engineer who has helped guide the terminal through redevelopment and expansion as well as other projects aimed at meeting the rapid passenger and airline growth over the past few years.
The 11-member board also approved next year's spending plan that calls for $75.3 million in revenue, up about 11 percent over the current budget that ends June 30.
The plan calls for five fewer employees, an average 3 percent performance-based raise and 9 percent jump in health care costs.
Underpinning the airport's revenue projections is the forecast for passenger growth to reach nearly 5 million through the end of 2019, about 500,000 more than in 2018. Through the first five months of the year, passenger levels are up about 12 percent, or roughly 208,000, over last year through May.
Passengers spend more on meals, gifts and parking and also pay a passenger facility charge of $4.50 on every outgoing ticket. The fee, capped by the federal government, helps to support terminal upgrades and is projected to bring in more than $9.8 million next year, a 13 percent increase.
Parking fees will generate $14.25 million, up more than $1 million over the current budget year.
Most of the extra revenue will help pay for debt on terminal upgrades, a new parking deck and future expansions that include more ticket counter space and a third wing to add more gates to the growing terminal.
"It's essentially double-digit growth," airport finance director Doug Boston said of what's driving expected higher revenues over the next 12 months. "There's a lot of good stuff going on right now."
Board chairman Walter Hundley said the airport continues to try to keep up with a growing number of passengers.
"Trying to keep up with growth has been a real challenge, and the budget reflects that," he said. "We have been running pretty hard ... to keep up with all of these issues."
The board also voted 9-1 on a contract extension for longtime attorney Arnold Goodstein, but details on the length of the deal and pay have not been finalized. Goodstein currently earns $250,000.
Board member Henry Fishburne held the lone vote against the legal services contract extension because he said he had concerns about the unannounced salary and the need for a backup in the legal department. One board member, Mayor Will Haynie of Mount Pleasant, was absent.