To our GSP Family — Thank you

For the past four years, GSP visitors have witnessed the second and most substantial wave of renovations in GSP’s history — WINGSPAN. Once completed, by the end of 2016, GSP International Airport will be positioned to accommodate up to 4 million passengers per year more than twice the 1,904,602 passengers that used GSP in 2015.  Not only will GSP be able to accommodate more travelers, it will also be much more efficient and will have incorporated additional safety processes all done with the passenger experience in mind. Throughout the renovation process we have made every effort to use smart resources and solutions designed to result in long-term sustainability. Examples of those efforts include the installation of Solar Water Heaters, a Rainwater Harvesting System and a Day Lighting System just to name a few. GSP always strives to be a good steward of the environment.

Our GSP Family has remained patient with us throughout this process and for that we say a heartfelt…THANK-YOU!  Please continue to provide us with your valuable feedback.

To take a look at what we’ve been working towards, check out the short video below!

We would also like to thank our key partners for making GSP’s dream a reality and more. To learn more about our key partners, visit the WINGSPAN website.



Until next time!

-The Terminal


WINGSPAN Development: How We’re Doing, Phase One

In July 2012, the WINGSPAN program launched to improve various aspects of Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. This program was set to be completed in four phases over the span of five years. Now that the WINGSPAN program is nearing completion, over the next month, we will highlight the phases of development and how changes will positively impact the travelers of Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. Today’s post will highlight some details about Phase One.

Phase One included the relocation and expansion of the rental car facilities in Parking Garage A.  The new design provided customer service counters and offices for each of the five car rental agencies. The Rental Car Customer Center opened on March 11, 2013 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.


Located on the first floor of Parking Garage A you will find Avis, Enterprise and National rental facilities. Budget and Hertz rental facilities are housed on the second floor of the parking garage.

Check back each week for updates on the WINGSPAN developments and our #FlyerFactFriday blog posts!

Safe Travels,

-The Terminal


Recap of WINSGSPAN and Development Phases

In July 2012, Greenville Spartanburg International Airport launched WINGSPAN, the terminal improvement project. The projected four-year program was composed of three phases that would allow for a higher volume of travelers, be more environmentally friendly, and improve aesthetics throughout the facility. Since WINGSPAN is nearing completion, we thought we would share a little more about the three phases that will dramatically shape Greenville-Spartanburg International airport to one of the most operationally capable and efficient airports of its size.


PHASE 1: Enabling Work and Baggage Claim Renovations

Mechanical and electrical systems overhaul will be completed throughout each phase of the program.

Enabling Projects Include:

  • Rental Car Customer Center relocation
  • Concourse A & B expansion of restrooms and food, beverage and retail concessions
  • Construction of the North Wing for temporary airline facilities
  • Utility and infrastructure relocation

Baggage Claims Renovations Include:

  • New baggage claim carousels
  • Construct canopy on curbside for loading and unloading in front baggage claim
  • Covered walkways to parking garages
  • New glass front on terminal

PHASE 2: Building Core Construction

Enhance interior area with state-of-the-art equipment and amenities.

  • Grand Hall Development including new food, beverage, and retail concessions area
  • Renovation of the existing ticketing lobby
  • New Customer Service booths
  • New Landside Garden
  • New baggage screening equipment and facilities
  • Security Checkpoint consolidation and relocation
  • Concourse A and B renovation

PHASE 3: Project Wrap-Up

Complete administrative updates for final phase of improvements.

  • Construction of the new Administrative Office for Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport
  • Construction of the Conference Center

When WINGSPAN began in July 2012, a gallery of photo renderings and a virtual walkthrough was created. Scroll through the galleries and let us know how you think the updates are progressing!


Until next time,

-The Terminal


History Highlight: The Aviation Cluster

Over the years, more and more businesses have moved their headquarters and operations to the Upstate. While it may seem that the Upstate is no different than other parts of the state, it does have one major economic advantage: the aviation cluster.

The aviation cluster is a group of airports that provide complementary aviation services along with a growing number of aviation-related companies. What’s unique about this group is that they thrive on collaboration, rather than competition.

Chairman of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, Neel Hipp Jr. once said, “Many of our cities and counties consider their local airport the ‘front door’ of their community and a powerful economic engine.”

The airports included in the aviation cluster are: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport, Greenville Downtown Airport and the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center (SCTAC), which was formerly known as the Donaldson Center.


The placement and varied services of these four airports has offered advantages that continue to positively impact the region’s economy.


The aviation cluster also includes aviation-related firms that are spread throughout the Upstate. According to the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), companies such as Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, GE, Michelin Aircraft Tires and Champion Aerospace were leaders in positioning the Upstate as “a growing aviation cluster.”


By 2007, more than 100 aviation-related companies were in South Carolina—with many of the largest companies located in the Upstate.

The cluster of airports, aviation-related business firms and educational institutions has become a major force in the development of Upstate South Carolina’s economy over the years.

In fact, according to Michael O’Donnell of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, aviation-related business in South Carolina represented $4.3 billion investment for the state in 2005. This included 65,000 jobs and a $74.5 million tax benefit.


We are proud to be part of such a prominent group of businesses that contributes to the success of our state.

To read more about the aviation cluster and our airport’s history, be sure to pick up a copy of Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport: Upstate South Carolina’s Gateway to the World, A History by Dave Partridge. It is the perfect read for your next flight!

Happy travels,

The Terminal

History Highlight: An Unlikely Friendship

07.23.15 History post
Charlie Daniel (left) and Roger Milliken (right)

When Charlie Daniel and Roger Milliken met in 1939, they had no idea the impact their partnership would have on the development of the Upstate.

From complete opposite backgrounds, Daniel and Milliken could not have been more different. Daniel was a Georgia-born Citadel graduate who served in WWI and worked as a builder. Milliken was a New York City-born Yale graduate who majored in French history and helped run his family’s textile company.

After their initial meeting at a plant in Union, SC, Milliken, 24 and Daniel, 45 formed a close alliance. It wasn’t long before the pair began designing, renovating and building plants across the state.

There was never a contract between the two, just respect, confidence, trust and a firm handshake. Milliken would act as the conceptual designer of a project, Daniel would share his input, the engineers would complete the project, Milliken would approve and then Daniel and his company would do the job quickly and well.

Milliken was known for his countless questions, all reflecting his thoroughness, genuine curiosity and passion for quality. Daniel was known for his legendary Sunday morning meetings with executives and weekly job site inspections. Together, they formed a hardworking, smart and thorough dynamic duo.

In addition to the countless projects they worked on together, they were also responsible for assembling the team, developing the design and selling the idea for what is now our very own GSP International Airport.

It is safe to say that without the vision and determination of these two unique individuals and their unlikely partnership, our airport would cease to exist.

To read more about Milliken, Daniel or the history of the airport, be sure to check out “Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport: Upstate South Carolina’s Gateway to the World, A History” by Dave Partridge.

Happy travels,

– The Terminal

History Highlight: The Airside Garden

06.30.15 Garden3On a calm night in Germany, Roger Milliken relaxed in the biergarten at the Frankfurt airport. It was this night that Milliken made a decision that would change Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) for the better.

Milliken decided to build an intimate garden in the heart of GSP.

He thought it was such a good idea, he insisted on it. Milliken wanted to garden, and the rest of the airport landscape, to become a place of beauty that people would enjoy visiting for years to come.

The original garden was 200 x 168 feet with a 60 x 25 foot reflecting pool in the center. It was surrounded by flowerbeds, English ivy, Japanese holly, azaleas, crepe myrtles, Chinese red berry holly and magnolia trees. With 5,000 total plantings, there was little room for anything else.

Unlike any other airport in the world, GSP has a formal garden between the terminal and runway, with its main view looking out on the runway, so visitors can watch planes as they take off.

The placement of the runway-facing garden surprised many people over the years, especially visiting airline and airport officials. However, Milliken believed it was one of the best features of the airport, and it was certainly the most unique and special.

06.30.15 Garden

By the end of 1988, the airport was undergoing extensive renovations—which included changes to the beloved garden. Although it was in the same place and the same size, the team had big plans in store for this iconic gathering place.

In the fall of 1989, the new garden was unveiled.

The new garden still had varieties of flowers, hedges, bushes and trees. The original reflection pool was expanded and a smaller pool was added. Each pool included various waterfalls and water features.

Best of all, there were finally places for people to sit, relax and enjoy the natural beauty around them. There was also one special, custom-designed sculpture that breathed new life into the space.

06.30.15 Garden2Commissioned by Dennis Smith, an artist from Colorado, the new sculpture displayed boys and girls dancing along the water. Smith hoped that this new piece would convey the vibrancy, freedom, passion and energy of youth.

Today, the garden is standing strong amidst the WINGSPAN renovations, and continues to pay tribute to Milliken’s vision and the idea that beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places. In fact, ticketed passengers will be able to enjoy bistro seating in the airside garden once WINGSPAN renovations are complete.

Stay tuned for our Flyer Fact Friday, and keep an eye out for more history highlights and construction updates.

Happy travels,

– The Terminal

The History Behind the Daniel Fountain

061615 fountain TerminalDuskAlong with boy aviator, the fifty-foot fountain on our front lawn is one of the most iconic images associated with Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

What you may not know is that this fountain stands in tribute to one of our cofounders, Charlie Daniel.

Charlie Daniel was born in 1895 in Elberton, Georgia but grew up in Anderson, South Carolina. After attending the Citadel for two years and serving in World War 1, Charlie returned to the Upstate and chartered Daniel Construction Company.

Daniel Construction was responsible for some of the Upstate’s biggest building projects at the time, such as the Donaldson Air Force Base, Bob Jones University campus, the Hyatt Regency and the Daniel Building (now known as the Landmark Building).

By 1957, Charlie had a major goal in mind: bring a regional airport to the Upstate before the airports in Charlotte and Atlanta consumed the market.

The first person to join Charlie’s team was Roger Milliken, whom he had previously designed, built and renovated plants with for years.

According to author Dave Partridge in his novel about the airport, “had it not been for the vision and persistence of Charlie Daniel with his powerful business influence and his active commitment to the economic growth of South Carolina, GSP may have never been built. Except for Charlie’s close relationship with Roger Milliken and his request that his old friend accept leadership of the airport project, Milliken might not have been involved.”

Roger Milliken always knew he wanted to honor Charlie Daniel’s memory somewhere on the airport grounds, and the fountain built to preserve the main lawn and its beauty for arriving travelers was the perfect place.

On July 3, 1970 the fountain was turned on and the plaque was revealed. Its inscription reads: This fountain erected in memory of Charles Ezra Daniel by his friends and admirers, 1970

061615 Fountain

Standing fifty-feet tall over its 140-fool pool, this fountain serves as a reminder of the rich history that GSP has brought the Upstate and the visionary team that had the courage to dream big. You can read more about Charlie Daniel and the airport’s rich history in Dave Partridge’s book.

Stay tuned for updates on construction progress!

Happy travels,

– The Terminal

Vendor Update: Behind the Scenes with Thomas Creek Grill

Thomas Creek Grill is already a huge hit with travelers through GSP—and their new digs in Concourse A is truly a work of art. From the 30-foot mural on their wall to the menu and brews they serve, the entire operation is a celebration of the past and present, the traditional and unconventional.

Hear from Thomas Creek Brewery owners Tom and Bill Davis as they share the story and inspiration behind the Thomas Creek Grill.

Whether you are here to stay or just passing through, be sure to make a stop at Thomas Creek Grill to eat, drink and share in Tom and Bill’s passion for brewing outstanding flavors!


Happy travels,


– The Terminal

History (in the making): 14th Honor Flight returns to GSP tonight

Veterans at the Marine Corps War Memorial on Tuesday. (April 21, 2015/FOX Carolina)
Veterans at the Marine Corps War Memorial on Tuesday. (April 21, 2015/FOX Carolina)

Early this morning 90 WWII and Korean War Veterans from all over the Upstate flew from GSP International Airport on the 14th Honor Flight with US Airways through Honor Flight Upstate.

A charter flight takes the Veterans to Washington, DC so that they can see and experience their WWll Memorial, as well as a tour of DC and visits to the Korean, Vietnam, and Iwo Jima memorials, plus other monuments. The Veterans are special guests at Arlington Cemetery and observe the Changing of The Guard at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier.

Veterans do not pay anything to take part in the one-day trip. In fact, today’s Honor flight was made possible by the generous support of Travelers Rest High School students, who raised thousands of dollars for today’s flights and the others coming up in 2015.  Joining the Veterans are “Guardians” who pay $500 for the honor to serve as caretakers for the Vets during the trip.

The goal of Honor Flight of SC is to provide an opportunity for every WWll Veteran in South Carolina who has never had a chance to visit their Memorial an opportunity to do so. Check out the photos from photojournalist Heidi Heilbrunn who is documenting their journey here. You can also see more photos from their trip on the GSP Facebook page tomorrow!

Please join us in the terminal tonight at 8:00pm for the Welcoming Home Ceremony. The Honor Flight lands at 8:10pm, and we would like to give the Veterans a hero’s welcome.

Safe travels,

– The Terminal

FFF: Retro videos games to help the Red Cross

For today’s Flyer Fact Friday, check out how Sweden has recently come up with a way to raise money for a good cause: a “Charity Arcade.” Two of the country’s biggest airports have installed old school video games that will accept any type of currency, and all the money goes to the Swedish Red Cross.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

CNN Travel recently featured an article describing these arcades as a fun way to get rid of spare currency after a flight. Passengers arriving to Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Goteborg Landvetter Airport can now pass time in the baggage claim by playing video game classics like “Ms. Pac-Man,” “Space Invaders” and “Galaga.”

Michael Persson Gripkow, marketing director at Swedavia, Swedish Airports says, “The travelers get a fun retro experience at the airport and at the same time they have the opportunity to contribute to the important work of the Red Cross.”

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport can connect you to these two airports, so, if you are a fan of arcade games and supporting a charity, you can book your next flight to Sweden. You can read the full article here.

Stay tuned to the WINGSPAN blog for more technology, history, and construction updates.

Happy travels,

– The Terminal