Airport parking deck (copy)

Construction on Charleston International Airport’s new 3,005-space, five-tier parking deck is underway and expected to be completed by November 2020. The view is from International Boulevard. The existing parking deck is on the far right. An FAA grant will help pay for a walkway connecting the new parking garage with the existing one. It also will help pay for new road access to the new parking deck. Rendering/LS3P

Charleston International and its two smaller sister airports will benefit from nearly $15 million in government grants while four other airports in South Carolina will pick up a combined $8.3 million.

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the three Charleston County airports and others across the state money to help pay for several improvement projects.

The bulk of the Lowcountry award — $12.2 million — will go to Charleston International, the state's busiest terminal, to help pay for a walkway connecting a $90 million, 3,005-space parking deck under construction with the existing 1,244-space garage.

The grant also will help pay for a new set of roadways to the new structure.

"None of the dollars can be used on the deck itself," said airport CEO Paul Campbell.

A second grant of $2.15 million will help pay for improved lighting at Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island.

A third award of $203,000 will help fund the design and preparation work of new hangars at Mount Pleasant Regional Airport.

"We had applied for these grants several months ago, and we are fortunate that the FAA sees the needs based on our growth," Campbell said.

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Three airports in the Upstate and one in the Pee Dee will share in the other funding, according to the FAA

  • Anderson Regional Airport received $650,000 to acquire an aircraft fire and rescue vehicle and update its master plan study.
  • Darlington County Airport picked up $4.4 million to rehabilitate a runway.
  • Greenville Downtown Airport received $2.15 million to redo a taxiway.
  • Oconee County Regional Airport was awarded $1.15 million to remove nonhazardous obstructions.

The awarded funds are part of $495 million in airport infrastructure grants the FAA is giving to 327 airports across the country and in the Pacific islands in its latest round of funding for airport enhancements.

It's the second allotment of the $3.18 billion Airport Improvement Program, also known as AIP grants.

“This significant investment in airport improvements will fund construction and rehabilitation projects that will help maintain high levels of safety in U.S. aviation,” U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a statement.

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