International expansion at CLT in holding pattern

Is it necessary to expand the airport of Charlotte to win new companies?

Charlotte Douglas International is the busiest American airport without a direct flight to Asia.”If we could get that direct flight to Shanghai, I think that would open the floodgates for new companies,” says Jeff Edge, Senior Vice President of Economic Development at the Charlotte Chamber.  

American airports recently added seasonal service from Charlotte to Barcelona, Lisbon, Manchester and Brussels, but at this time limits direct Asian service to Dallas- Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Chicago. The recent additions helped boost international business at CLT 5% for the year. International flights at Charlotte Douglas account for about 1% of the almost 44 million passengers coming through its gates each year. Because of that adding direct flights to Asia from Charlotte would require more than just more concourse space. CLT’s longest runway is 10,000 feet, shorter than the 12,000 feet generally needed for Asian service from the Southeast. The airport master plan under development is expected to include plans for a fourth runway of 12,000 feet to handle trans-Pacific aircraft.

When 12 international flights arrive at the same time, the airport of Charlotte would have a problem. Therefore Charlotte Douglas spent $ 2 million on 24 automated passport- control kiosks that speed U.S. citizens through the primary Federal Inspection Service area after international flights.  

To win new companies, an expansion of the airport of Charlotte is necessary. International set up new manufacturing facilities or offices, where they can get business done quickly; versus sitting in Atlanta for instance and waiting three hours for a connecting flight. They may have lost a day versus getting a full day of business in. It’s a cost savings businesses are looking for.
Best regards
und viele Grüße aus Charlotte
Reinhard von Hennigs