Airport Sets Local Passenger Records During Democratic National Convention

Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) made history, breaking local passenger traffic records during the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC). 

“The sheer number of passengers we anticipated presented some very unique challenges in terms of general logistics, transportation, security screening and airport throughput,” said CLT Aviation Director Jerry Orr. “We had planned for the DNC for more than a year. Airport employees were prepared for the large numbers and rose to the occasion, getting passengers through the facility efficiently and expeditiously.”

The Airport oversaw its largest number of local enplanements ever on Friday, September 7. Over 26,000 local passengers departed from CLT that day, an 80 percent increase in departures when compared to  last year. US Airways alone had 16,800 passengers who began their trips at CLT on September 7, compared to 9,326 travelers who departed the Friday after Labor Day in 2011.

Records were also broken by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), who screened 29,539 passengers and 21,276 bags on Friday, September 7. It was a single day record at CLT for screened travelers and luggage.

US Airways experienced a 16 percent jump in the total number of passengers who ended their flights in Charlotte from Thursday, August 30 – Saturday, September 8 of this year (47,934 travelers) compared to the same time period last year (41,341 travelers).

Meanwhile, Wilson Air Center, CLT’s fixed based operator, experienced a 15 percent increase in operations from Friday, August 31 – Friday, September 7. Wilson normally averages 560 landings and departures a week. During the DNC, however, operations rose to 642.

More than 400 volunteers, including Aviation Department, US Airways and DNC staff assisted travelers at CLT during the DNC.

“It was the Airport’s responsibility to be the first impression of the Charlotte region for our visitors, as well as to ‘close the deal’ by providing the last impression,” Orr added. “I believe we did our job by delivering a positive overall experience for passengers visiting the city.” 


Friday, September 7
  • CLT saw its largest mass departure day ever.
  • Approximately 26,000 passengers departed from CLT.
  • Experienced 80 percent increase compared to same time in 2011.
  • TSA screened a record number of passengers and baggage.

Thursday, August 30 – Saturday, September 8
  • US Airways experienced 16 percent jump in total number of passengers who ended their flights in Charlotte compared to same time period last year.

Friday, August 31 – Friday, September 7
  • Wilson Air Center (CLT’s fixed base operator) experienced a 15 percent increase in operations.