Charleston Airport seeks to extend passenger fee to pay for improvements

Charleston International Airport

Leroy Burnell

Charleston International Airport wants to extend its $4.50 fee paid by embarking passengers by about 18 months to help pay for proposed expansion of the terminal.

The airport has notified the Federal Aviation Administration that it needs to raise an additional $6.9 million from the passenger facility charge to help pay for design and program management of the terminal redevelopment project.

The estimated $143 million makeover of the 26-year-old terminal includes extending both concourses, adding a third baggage carousel, adding hundreds of new parking spaces and redesigning other areas to keep up with the growing number of passengers, update the aging airport and reconfigure it to meet new security standards in the post 9/11 era.

The maximum $4.50 fee allowed by the FAA started at Charleston International in March 2010 and is set to expire on Dec. 1. If the extension is granted, the fee will be assessed on every outgoing ticket until June 1, 2013, Charleston County Aviation Authority Airports Director Sue Stevens said.

Read more in tomorrow’s editions of The Post and Courier.