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Charleston International Airport prepares for big numbers despit - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Charleston International Airport prepares for big numbers despite redevelopment construction

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Forget the bells and holly. This year, the sights and sound of the holidays at the Charleston International Airport will be full of orange and loud construction work.

"We're closing gates, opening gates, we're adding brand new jet bridges," said airports director Paul Campbell.

The $189 million redevelopment and improvement project is now halfway complete.

It's been a work in progress for almost a year and one that's about to get complicated.

"Thanksgiving is always a challenge, that's our biggest load," said Campbell. "That's when we fill up the parking garage. Christmas is a big load."

Campbell says, so far, the construction hasn't caused flight delays or cancellations.

But, it's not set to be finished until September 2015. So, they're getting ready for the holiday rush now.

"We'll try to curtail it, as much as we can," said Campbell.

But, with a 50% expansion in the works, they can't stop construction altogether.

So far, all the orange hasn't caused red flags for travelers.

"We like the Charleston airport," said Katherine Park, visiting from Germany. "I think it's our 7th time in Charleston and we really like it."

Campbell says an estimated 3 million people will travel through the Charleston International airport this year, both inbound and outbound. A lot of travelers say most of the headache comes behind the security gate, when it comes to getting food.

"If you're here really early, you really can't get any food," said Ryan Casyan, traveling to New Jersey." Don't come with an empty stomach. Come full and ready to get on your flight."

Campbell says that's one of the many things that's about to change.

"We're adding a lot better food service, a lot better retail service," said Campbell.

But, that facelift won't happen until after the holidays.

Until then, Campbell says, be patient and come early.

To see what new restaurants are coming to the airport, click HERE.

To see a time-table of all the construction work, click HERE.

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