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GSP celebrates 50th anniversary

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, October 16, 2012

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Greer Mayor Rick Danner referenced the impact Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport has had on Greer and said Greer has also been aggressive marketing itself.

Greer Mayor Rick Danner referenced the impact Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport has had on Greer and said Greer has also been aggressive marketing itself.



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Signage congratulates GSP on its 50th anniversary celebration.

Signage congratulates GSP on its 50th anniversary celebration.

The visionaries were remembered, community leaders told of the importance to be focused decades ahead, and WINGSPAN, a $120 million Terminal Improvement Project, were all cause for celebration tonight.

The 50th anniversary of Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in Greer was celebrated in a Stevens Aviation hangar with Dave Edwards, President/CEO GSP Airport District, Greer Mayor Rick Danner, the airport board of commissioners, area economic and political leaders, and former associates and airport personnel in attendance.

GSP officially opened its runway for takeoffs on Oct. 15, 1962.

“I was witness as the first plane flew into Greenville-Spartanburg Airport and cheered for the Blue Angels as they flew above 50 years ago,” said Minor Shaw, Commissioner of the GSP Board of Commissioners. “We’re not going to change GSP but we’re going to make it better.”

Edwards and his staff are overseeing WINGSPAN that is projected to take GSP into 2030 with two million passengers a year forecast to be traveling through the airport. GSP is recording one million passengers in a calendar year using its facilities. The funding for WINGSPAN will be paid 80 percent through airport funds with the remaining 20 percent coming from a combination of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Fund and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Edwards said the overseers of GSP's future, "Are of a different time and era," than the pioneers of the founding of the airport. "They were people with the foresight to take a new piece of land and develop an airport."

Danner spoke of GSP’s impact on Greer. “I believe Greer is going to see a lot of change in the next 10-20 years. It’s my responsibility to help make Greer a better place by championing my role.”

Danner suggested the future of GSP and Greer is promising. A $25 million inland port is scheduled to be in operation by October 2013 and a GSP land-use study is imminent that will provide guidance for a wider use of its property that will include industrial growth.

Comparing GSP’s leadership versus the founders of the airport that included Roger Milliken, Charlie Daniel and Alex Crouch, Danner said, "I see us as truly the beneficiaries of their vision.”

Trey Gowdy, (R-SC 4th District) briefly talked of GSPs value to the Upstate. “If you want to see how valuable GSP is, just try to imagine life without it.”

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