Charleston International Airport (copy)

Passengers make their way to their flights at Charleston International Airport in May. Brad Nettles/Staff

British Airways' arrival and other carriers adding new routes propelled Charleston International's passenger count to an 8 percent gain in May.

Nearly 470,000 ticket holders passed through South Carolina's busiest airport last month, boosting its volume to nearly 1.9 million for the year. That's up 12.4 percent over the first five months of 2018.

"We've added several additional flights this year, and we are still a growing part of the world," airport CEO Paul Campbell said. "Between tourism and business growth in the area, we are planning for that to continue at the current pace."

Charleston airport officials are projecting more than 5 million travelers  for 2019, up from a record 4.47 million last year. Long-range projections call for passenger volume to reach 8 million by 2028, compared to about 2 million less than a decade ago.

The rapid growth with several new airlines adding new destinations and legacy carriers expanding service, along with Charleston's industrial and population boom over the past decade, has led the airport to try to keep up and prepare for more passenger demand in the coming years.

It is adding a 3,005-space parking deck and is exploring expansion of the ticket counter space to accommodate more carriers. It also plans to begin the initial engineering work soon to add a third wing.

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Other additions are in the works as well, including a passenger lounge that's expected to open in late July and a larger fuel depot.

Charleston is now served by nine airlines flying nonstop to 30 airports in 26 cities.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.