pc-011018-bz-allegiant (copy)

An effort is underway to name the terminal at Charleston International Airport after the late U.S. Sen. Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings. In this recent photo, people wait for arriving passengers in the Central Hall area of the terminal. File/Staff

The late U.S. Sen. Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings will be laid to rest Tuesday, but his name could live on at Charleston International.

A resolution will be considered Thursday by the Charleston County Aviation Authority board to name the passenger terminal after the longtime Democratic U.S. senator and former governor who died April 6.

Charleston County Council chairman Elliott Summey, a member of the airport board and a former volunteer of Republicans for Hollings when he was in college in the late 1990s, will lead the effort.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who once sat on the airport board, also will be there to help shepherd the symbolic endeavor, Summey said.

Summey called Hollings a leader of the modern Transportation Security Administration since he sponsored Homeland Security legislation after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also credited the late lawmaker for helping the Aviation Authority secure access to the runways, which are owned by the Air Force.

Summey is not in favor of renaming the entire airport after Hollings, an idea raised previously by a state lawmaker.

"We are finally reaping the benefits of the branding of Charleston, and as long as we don't change the actual name of the airport, I'm in favor of it," Summey said.

"I would not want it to be the Hollings International Airport," he said. "When you drive up to the terminal, it will say, 'Welcome to Charleston International Airport — Ernest F. Hollings Terminal.' I'm sure we will brand the inside somehow as well."

The "Charleston" branding Summey referred to has resulted in the airport more than doubling its number of passengers since 2010 to 4.47 million coming and going last year and visits by nearly 7.3 million people to the Charleston region in 2018.

The airport is also home to Boeing Co.'s East Coast second 787 Dreamliner production line.

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.


Charleston International Airport (copy) (copy)

The terminal at Charleston International Airport could be named for the late U.S. Sen. Ernest F. "Fritz" Hollings under a proposal Charleston County Aviation Authority will consider Thursday. File/Staff

Summey said it was an honor to work in Hollings' campaign and with the late senator after Summey was elected to Charleston County Council and served as former chairman of CARTA, the region's public bus service.

"I learned a lot from Fritz," Summey said.

State Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, D-Charleston, introduced a bill in February to name the airport after Hollings, but state Sen. Paul Campbell, who also is the CEO of Charleston International, said he couldn't support renaming the entire airport and suggested other parts of the airport could recognize Hollings.

The existing parking deck is named after the late senator after he helped secure funding for it several years ago. Construction on a second parking deck is now underway, and Campbell recently suggested it or other parts of the airport could bear Hollings' name as well.

Summey said he and others believe the late senator deserves more prominence than having his name on a parking deck and will push for the terminal to bear his name.

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