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Air Travel in the Upstate Gets Even Easier with GSP Improvements

January 21, 2015


Since its first flight in 1962, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) has earned a reputation as one of the finest airports in the country. GSP’s competitive airfare draws in more than 1.8 million passengers per year, who are served by six major airlines offering non-stop departures to 15 major cities and 18 different airports across the country. Add to that the ability to offer connecting flights to virtually anywhere in the world, and residents and visitors to the Upstate have the perfect airport resource for business and leisure.

Despite its success, Greenville-Spartanburg Airport is in the process of a number of renovations and improvements as part of its $125 million terminal improvement program, WINGSPAN. From initial planning and design to its completion, WINGSPAN is entirely about accommodating GSP’s passengers.

GSP’s commitment to serving the needs of the Upstate extends outside of the terminal. In 2012, the airport kicked off a growth initiative entitled GSP360 to help develop areas of land surrounding the airport itself.

We recently sat down with Greenville-Spartanburg Airport’s Vice President of Communications, Rosylin Weston (pictured above), to talk about updates at the airport:

Visitors to GSP will notice a lot of changes happening outside of the airport. Can you give us an update on what visitors can expect to see when the current renovations are complete?

“The GSP terminal is literally changing from one end to the other, top to bottom. One of the first things GSP visitors will notice is an enhancement to the façade and exterior of the terminal. We have added over 700 feet of glass to replace the original concreate exterior, giving the terminal a more welcoming feel with natural light. This update also includes a glass curbside canopy that will offer visitors who are in the drop-off and pick-up areas shelter from the weather.”

What improvements are being made to help business travelers and those traveling for pleasure?

“Once inside the airport, travelers will see a number of renovations—completed and in progress—including new tile and new carpeting throughout portions of the terminal along with the addition of new food and retail options and new restrooms in both concourses.

Traveling through the airport, passengers will see our newly-constructed North Wing, which is currently serving as home to temporary airline ticket counters, allowing for renovations to continue in the lobby area and the core of the terminal. The North Wing is also the first phase build-out of the future second baggage claim area and will eventually be home to all of GSP’s administrative offices.

We have nearly completed renovations to our baggage claim area, which includes three new baggage carousels and a new Airport Customer Service desk. Our renovated baggage claim also offers travelers who have not passed through security and those waiting on arriving passengers an opportunity to enjoy new food and retail options including Flatwood Grill, Dunkin’ Donuts and a Hudson store.

To make travel even easier, we are also consolidating our screening checkpoints, which will make the screening process more efficient. This will also make maneuvering throughout the airport easier for travelers, by providing them access to both concourses once through the security checkpoint. We understand that our passengers value their time and these renovations are being made to vastly enhance the customer experience at GSP.”

Beyond commercial air travel, what types of improvements are being made that will help local businesses who depend on the airport?

We anticipate that WINGSPAN will support approximately 1,400 local jobs have a $164.1 million impact on our local economy. This impact can be seen through the selection of many local vendors and contractors for planning, construction and implementation. We are committed to putting as much back into the local economy as possible and the GSP Airport District has taken every possible measure to help ensure as much local participation as possible throughout this process.

While WINGSPAN features numerous initiatives to enhance the airport, GSP360 focuses on the areas surrounding the airport. Can you share some of the latest developments with GSP360?

GSP360 is a growth initiative that was the result of a land-use study completed and adopted in 2012. The purpose of GSP360 is to encourage the responsible development of property owned by GSP, ensuring the continued growth and development of the airport and its surrounding property.

Through GSP360, we have identified nine developable tracts of land, each offering unique features that could appeal to a range of industries and sectors, including aviation, logistics, retail, office space, hospitality, recreation and more.”

See our Transportation & Infrastructure page for more information for more on Upstate transportation, or explore Aerospace in Upstate SC.


TOPICS: Upstate Thoughts