Myrtle Beach International Airport

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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
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]

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.



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 paned 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]

Facilities and aircraft[edit]

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).[20]

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.[20]


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.

The airport has seven gates with expansion under way to add six more by July 2012.[21] 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.[22]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations
Allegiant Air Seasonal: Allentown, Cincinnati (begins May 29, 2014),[23] Columbus-Rickenbacker (begins May 29, 2014),[23] Fort Wayne, Huntington (WV), Lexington (begins May 29, 2014),[24] Syracuse (NY) (begins May 29, 2014),[25] Youngstown/Warren
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Atlanta
Delta Connection Atlanta, Detroit, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Boston
Porter Airlines Seasonal: Toronto-Billy Bishop
Spirit Airlines Atlantic City, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Baltimore,[26] Charleston, (WV), Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit,[27] Latrobe (PA), Philadelphia,[28] Niagara Falls, Plattsburgh
United Express Newark
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare
US Airways Express Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National
WestJet Seasonal: Toronto-Pearson

Historical service[edit]


Carrier shares for November 2012 - October 2013[6]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
Spirit Airlines
Mesa Airlines
PSA Airlines
Former airport logo
Top 10 domestic destinations (August 2010 – July 2011)[6]
Rank City Airport Passengers
1 Charlotte, NC CLT 161,000
2 Atlanta, GA ATL 113,000
3 New York, NY LGA 99,000
4 Detroit, MI DTW 58,000
5 Atlantic City, NJ ACY 51,000
6 Philadelphia, PA PHL 48,000
7 Fort Lauderdale, FL FLL 40,000
8 Chicago, IL ORD 39,000
9 Boston, MA BOS 38,000
10 Latrobe, PA LBE 29,000

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.[29]
  • 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.


  1. ^ "Horry County Department of Airports page on Horry County Government Website". Horry County, South Carolina. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Horry County Department of Airports
  3. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. 4 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. 18 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. 4 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Myrtle Beach, SC: Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. December 2013. 
  7. ^ Spring, Jake (31 December 2010). "Flier breaks Myrtle Beach International Airport record". The Sun News. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ruling Due In About 2 Months On Myrtle Beach Air Base Use". The News and Courier (Charleston, S.C.). January 26, 1956. 
  9. ^ "Task force calls for 'international airport' in Myrtle Beach". Wilmington Morning Star. September 18, 1987. 
  10. ^ "Two Carriers Want To Land Large Jets In Myrtle Beach". The News and Courier (Charleston, S.C.). February 2, 1989. 
  11. ^ "Airport officials aren't sweating airline's decision to end service". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 12, 1994. 
  12. ^ "American Eagle Airlines Launches Nonstop Jet Service Between Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport". PR Newswire. April 6, 2010. 
  13. ^ Katie Merx (August 22, 1996). "Airport Has Global Outlook: International Terminal Open for Business". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). 
  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 (13 November 2013). "Bank going after Myrtle Beach-based Direct Air’s former owners for $25 million debt". Myrtle Beach Sun News. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Myrtle Beach Int'l Airport lands new Canadian carrier". StarNews. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  18. ^ Bryant, Dawn (19 November 2013). "Rebound continues at Myrtle Beach International Airport, momentum expected to continue into 2014". Myrtle Beach Sun-News. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Space Shuttle Emergency Landing Sites". 
  20. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for MYR (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective 25 August 2011.
  21. ^ Bryant, Dawn; Saldinger, Adva; Spring, Jake (January 2, 2011). "Top business stories to watch in 2011 in Myrtle Beach area". The Sun News. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Myrtle Beach airport ticket fee to increase: Cash will help fund expansion". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). January 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^,0,7642270.story
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Caywood, Thomas (April 12, 2012). "Judge grounds Direct Air’s return plan". Myrtle Beach Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 

External links[edit]