Myrtle Beach International Airport

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For the United States Air Force use of the facility before March 1993, see Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.
Myrtle Beach International Airport
Myrtle Beach International Airport Luggage Tag Logo.png
Airport type Public
Owner Horry County
Operator Horry County Department of Airports[1]
Serves Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Location Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Focus city for Spirit Airlines
Elevation AMSL 25 ft / 8 m
Coordinates 33°40′47″N 078°55′52″W / 33.67972°N 78.93111°W / 33.67972; -78.93111Coordinates: 33°40′47″N 078°55′52″W / 33.67972°N 78.93111°W / 33.67972; -78.93111
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
MYR is located in South Carolina
Location of airport in South Carolina
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 9,503 2,897 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2013)
Passengers 1,664,917
Based aircraft 42
Source: [2]
Former airport logo

Myrtle Beach International Airport (IATA: MYRICAO: KMYRFAA LID: MYR) is a county-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) southwest of the central business district of Myrtle Beach, in Horry County, South Carolina, United States. It was formerly known as Myrtle Beach Jetport (1974–1989) and is located on site of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, which also includes The Market Common Myrtle Beach shopping complex.

This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport.[3] As per Federal Aviation Administration records, it had 705,430 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[4] 704,771 enplanements in 2009, and 782,737 in 2010.[5]

Myrtle Beach is the third-busiest airport in South Carolina behind Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg, with nearly 1.7 million passengers in 2013. The airport is a focus city for Spirit Airlines, which handles just over half of the total passengers using the airport.[6] As of 2014, it is the only airport in South Carolina to be a focus city for an airline and to have scheduled international flights. [7]


Joint use of Myrtle Beach Air Force Base was first agreed in 1955.[8]

On April 20, 1977, an agreement between the City of Myrtle Beach and the U.S. Department of Defense was signed, which incorporated the area of Myrtle Beach Airport into the city. Until 1993, both MYR and Myrtle Beach AFB jointly used the main runway; this limited civil operations to 30 landings per day and led to a local business movement to build an entirely new airport.[9]

In 1993, the Air Force closed the base as a result of BRAC 1991. The runway and other portions of the former military flight line were then turned over to the Horry County Department of Airports.[citation needed]

In the 1980s, the airport was served by Piedmont Airlines mainline aircraft (later acquired by USAir) and by Delta and Eastern commuter aircraft.[10]

American Eagle became a major carrier at MYR in the early 1990s, operating multiple daily ATR 72 flights to the American Airlines hub at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. By late 1994 this route accounted for as much as 12% of the airport's passenger traffic; however, American abruptly ended its American Eagle hub at Raleigh-Durham in December 1994, cancelling all service to MYR and other secondary airports in the region.[11] American returned to Myrtle Beach in 2010 with a seasonal service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.[12]

On April 1, 1996, Myrtle Beach Airport became an international airport. A new international terminal held its grand opening August 21 of that year, and a new logo was unveiled "to reflect the architectural design of the airport 's terminal and the influence of the beach by showing a pained window and a palm tree in blues and greens." [13]

The airport served as the main hub for Hooters Air from 2003 until 2006. The airport authority offered discounted hangar space and other undisclosed benefits to Hooters Air operator Pace Airlines in an effort to relocate its operating base from Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. [14] However, Pace decided to keep its base (also used for charter operations) in Winston-Salem.[15]

Direct Air connected a number of airports to Myrtle Beach from 2007 until 2012, when it abruptly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ceased operations.[16] The failure of Direct Air caused a slump in passenger traffic at Myrtle Beach,[17] which declined 16% in 2012 but rebounded in 2013. WestJet began service to Toronto in summer 2013 with a revenue guarantee from Horry County, but its passenger numbers fell short of expectations, forcing the county to pay WestJet around $570,000.[18]

The airport was a designated launch abort site for the Space Shuttle, but was never used.[19]

Terminal, facilities and aircraft[edit]

The Dr. W.L. Harrelson Terminal Building is named for Myrtle Beach's first mayor, Dr. W.L. Harrelson, who served from March 1938 to December 1939 and again from January 1942 to December 1943. The city purchased land for the municipal airport during his first term, and the terminal at the airport was named in his honor.

The airport and terminal was constructed in 1975, opening in 1976. sharing its runway with the USAF Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. The airports entrance is on Harrelson Boulevard. [20] The airport has seven gates with expansion under way to add six more by July 2012.

In 2008 two renovations took place in the terminal building. The TSA added hard wood flooring in the security checkpoint to replace the carpet that had been in place for years. In March 2012 Gates four and five are receiving new, state of the art jetways. These jetways are the first unveiling of the "B" concourse.

In July 2010, the FAA approved a $4.50 passenger facilities charge on all airline tickets to and from MYR in order to defray part of the cost for the terminal upgrade.[21]

For the 12-month period ending February 28, 2011, the airport had 106,356 aircraft operations, an average of 291 per day: 63% air taxi, 16% scheduled commercial, 16% general aviation, and 5% military. At that time there were 42 aircraft based at this airport: 76% single-engine, 17% multi-engine, 2% jet, and 5% helicopter.[22]

Myrtle Beach International Airport covers an area of 3,795 acres (1,536 ha) at an elevation of 25 feet (8 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 18/36 with an asphalt/concrete surface measuring 9,503 by 150 feet (2,897 x 46 m).[22]


On May 17, 2010, Horry County broke ground on the Terminal Capacity Enhancement Program, which included air side and land side improvements to the current facility, as well as a new 240,000 SF passenger terminal and concourse. The improvements have increased the number of departure gates from seven (7) to thirteen (13), a well as three (3) new ground loading positions. To support the expansion, a new automated baggage handling system, as well as a new new passenger boarding bridges were added while the apron pavement and taxiway were reconstructed and expanded. A new rental car facility that included a pedestrian canopy was also added to help maximize the efficiency of the facility, and a covered exit plaza with employee facilities were also added as the existing parking lot, roadway circulation and access roads were being renovated and expanded. The footprint of the terminal was increased from 155,000 SF to 430,000 SF. The new terminal opened on April 3, 2013 [23]

On July 11, 2014, it was announced that the airports is preparing for it's next multi-million dollar project is scheduled to begin in August. $20 million will be invested into the new rehabilitation project that is expected to be completed in 7 months. The project will involve removing all the asphalt on the runway and repave the entire runway, which will extend it's live by 20 years.Airport officials have identified the need for the project back in 2009 and in the years that followed the airport worked on develop preliminary plans, secure the funding that is needed and also to notify air carriers. This week Horry County Council approved $19.2 million in funding grants for the project with the Horry County Department of Airports contributing an additional $800,000. Both Airlines and travelers are expected to feel the biggest impacts in early October and in November. During the project, the airport will shutdown the the runway after its last flight leaves each night and will conclude prior tp the first takeoff the next morning. News 13 asked what it would mean if the the airport's last flight of the night was delayed and the airport replied "We're going to try to accommodate everyone we can, but at the same time we have to make sure we're operating safely and keeping in those time constraints to get the project done," [24][25][26]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:

Airline Destinations
Allegiant Air (Seasonal) Knoxville, TN, Ft Wayne IN, Huntington WV, Youngstown OH, Columbus OH - Rickenbacker, Cincinnati, Lexington KY, Syracuse NY, Allentown
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York
Porter Airlines (Seasonal) Toronto-Billy Bishop (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Spirit Airlines Atlantic City, Fort Lauderdale, New York
Seasonal: Baltimore, Charleston, (WV), Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Latrobe/Pittsburgh, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Plattsburgh
United Airlines (Seasonal) Chicago-O'Hare, Newark
US Airways Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National
WestJet (Seasonal) Toronto-Pearson

Formal Carriers[edit]


Carrier shares: April 2013 – March 2014[6]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Spirit Airlines
Mesa Airlines
PSA Airlines
Top 10 domestic destinations: Apr. 2013 – Mar. 2014[6]
Rank City Airport name & IATA code Passengers
1 Charlotte, NC Charlotte/Douglas International (CLT) 161,000
2 Atlanta, GA Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) 114,000
3 New York, NY LaGuardia (LGA) 101,000
4 Detroit, MI Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) 58,000
5 Atlantic City, NJ Atlantic City International (ACY) 52,000
6 Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia International (PHL) 50,000
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International (FLL) 42,000
8 Boston, MA Logan International (BOS) 40,000
9 Chicago, IL O'Hare International (ORD) 39,000
10 Baltimore, MD Baltimore–Washington International (BWI) 30,000

Air cargo[edit]

The airport has a dedicated air cargo building at the entrance of the airport.


  • On March 19, 2010, an unidentified man gained access to a restricted part of the airfield, when approached by a maintenance supervisor the man pulled out a knife. The maintenance supervisor contacted the airport police and upon their arrival the man started stabbing himself in the chest and upper abdomen, he was later pronounced dead at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. Air service was not interrupted nor was there any threat to passengers. This incident is still under investigation (March 2010) by the Horry County Police, the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.[citation needed]
  • On March 12, 2012, Direct Air abruptly cancelled all flights later announcing that they would not resume flight schedules until May 15, 2012; in the process leaving dozens of passengers stranded in the terminal building. Approximately one week later it was announced that Direct Air had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection citing rising fuel costs. The charter carrier was subject to Chapter 7 liquidation on April 12, 2012.[27]
  • On April 6, 2013 the terminal building was evacuated after a series of bomb threats were called into 9-1-1 dispatch centers. The terminal was evacuated following regular protocol allowing canine units to sweep the building. The all clear was declared at approximately 1 PM and flights were able to resume without incident
  • On June 18, 2014 a malfunctioning alarm prevented passengers from disembarking from their plane, firefighters determined there was neither no smoke or fire that would cause the alarms to go off. The alarm was disabled and flight were allowed to commence and the airport was back to normal.[28]
  • On July 18, 2014, Spirit Flight 610 departed from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at 9:30 a.m and was landed at Myrtle Beach at 11:20 a.m. after being diverted due to the discovery of a cracked windshield. The flight was scheduled according to flight information on the Spirit Airlines website to arrive in Boston at 1:54 p.m. A replacement plane was sent and arrived at 2 p.m. and departed as flight 610 at around 3 p.m. and landed in Boston at 5:14 p.m. [29][30]


  1. ^ "Horry County Department of Airports page on Horry County Government Website". Horry County, South Carolina. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "About Myrtle Beach International Airport". Horry County Department of Airports. 
  3. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Myrtle Beach, SC: Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. March 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ Spring, Jake (December 31, 2010). "Flier breaks Myrtle Beach International Airport record". The Sun News. Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ruling Due in About 2 Months on Myrtle Beach Air Base Use". Charleston, S.C.: The News and Courier. January 26, 1956. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Task force calls for 'international airport' in Myrtle Beach". Wilmington Morning Star. September 18, 1987. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Two Carriers Want To Land Large Jets in Myrtle Beach". Charleston, S.C.: The News and Courier. February 2, 1989. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Airport officials aren't sweating airline's decision to end service". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 12, 1994. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American Eagle Airlines Launches Nonstop Jet Service Between Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport". PR Newswire. April 6, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ Merx, Katie (August 22, 1996). "Airport Has Global Outlook: International Terminal Open for Business". Myrtle Beach, S.C.: The Sun News. 
  14. ^ "Myrtle Beach woos N.C. airline". Wilmington Morning Star. February 27, 2003. 
  15. ^ "Hooters Air flying to Myrtle Beach". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 29, 2002. 
  16. ^ Wren, David (November 13, 2013). "Bank going after Myrtle Beach-based Direct Air's former owners for $25 million debt". Myrtle Beach Sun News. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Myrtle Beach Int'l Airport lands new Canadian carrier". StarNews. February 11, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  18. ^ Bryant, Dawn (November 19, 2013). "Rebound continues at Myrtle Beach International Airport, momentum expected to continue into 2014". Myrtle Beach Sun-News. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Space Shuttle Emergency Landing Sites". Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ Bryant, Dawn; Saldinger, Ava; Spring, Jake (January 2, 2011). "Top business stories to watch in 2011 in Myrtle Beach area". The Sun News. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Myrtle Beach airport ticket fee to increase: Cash will help fund expansion". Myrtle Beach, S.C.: The Sun News. January 12, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for MYR (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective August 25, 2011.
  23. ^ Leopard, Courtenay. "The New Terminal is Open". Myrtle Beach International Airport. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  24. ^ Miller, Meghan (July 11, 2014). "MYR preps for $20M runway rehabilitation project". WBTW. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  25. ^ Holden, Brooke (June 19, 2014). "Construction on MYR runway could cause delays". WMBF-TV. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Myrtle Beach airport upgrades could mean delays". WBTW. June 19, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  27. ^ Caywood, Thomas (April 12, 2012). "Judge grounds Direct Air's return plan". Myrtle Beach Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  28. ^ Holden, Brooke. "Malfunctioning alarm causes confusion at MYR". WMBF-TV. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  29. ^ Roy, Julie. "Flight diverted to MYR for cracked windshield". WBTW. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  30. ^ "Spirit Airlines plane with cracked windshield diverted to MYR". WMBF-TV. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 

External links[edit]