For a third straight year, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) set a new record for passenger traffic in 2017.
The airport said it served 2,130,885 travelers during the year, a 6 percent increase compared with the previous all-time high of 2,011,047 in 2016.
GSP’s cargo traffic also soared to new heights as the airport said it facilitated the flow of 97,003,054 pounds (48,502 tons) of cargo in 2017, a 42.8 percent increase compared with 67,948,257 pounds (33,974 tons) during the prior year.
“Not only did overall passenger traffic increase for 10 of the past 12 months, but in October, GSP recorded an impressive 215,335 passengers marking the first time in the airport’s history where the total passenger count exceeded 200,000 in a single month,” said Dave Edwards, president and CEO of GSP, in a statement.
“Our cargo numbers were just as strong,” Edwards added. “Effective Jan. 1, 2017, we assumed responsibility for the Fixed Base Operations and launched operations under the brand name Cerulean Aviation, focusing our efforts in two divisions, Commercial Aviation and General Aviation. We finished the year with a 42.8 percent increase in cargo traffic and a 29.7 percent increase in fuel. I am extremely proud of our efforts to date and anticipate even more success in 2018.”
In addition to launching Cerulean Aviation, GSP marked several milestones during the year in its efforts to enhance air service in the Upstate.
In May, the airport celebrated the completion of Project WINGSPAN, a $125 million transformation of its main terminal that increased GSP’s total passenger capacity to 4 million travelers per year.
American Airlines subsidiary PSA Airlines in October celebrated the official opening of its new maintenance facility at GSP.
In December, international freight forwarder Senator International marked the one-year anniversary of its service between GSP and Europe by announcing it would expand the service from two to three flights per week in 2018.
Edwards said earlier this year that the airport has gained back most of its “leakage” of passengers to Atlanta.
As of the third quarter, GSP’s average domestic airline itinerary fare was almost on par with nearby Charlotte Douglas International Airport, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
During the coming year, airport officials hope to move forward with several projects that are expected to further increase GSP’s capabilities, including new aviation hangars, an additional parking garage, and a new facility for its aircraft and rescue firefighter staff.
“WINGSPAN is over, but there’s still much to be done in order to make sure GSP remains a competitive facility,” Weston said. “We just hope people continue to think GSP first.”