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
Mbafb-23jan1994.jpg
USGS 1994 orthophoto
IATA: MYRICAO: KMYRFAA LID: MYR
Summary
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′42″W / 33.67972°N 78.92833°W / 33.67972; -78.92833Coordinates: 33°40′47″N 078°55′42″W / 33.67972°N 78.92833°W / 33.67972; -78.92833
Website FlyMyrtleBeach.com
Maps
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
MYR is located in South Carolina
MYR
MYR
Location of airport in South Carolina
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
18/36 9,503 2,897 Asphalt / Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft operations 145,347
Based aircraft 52
Passengers (2013) 1,664,917
Sources: FAA,[2] Horry County[3]

Myrtle Beach International Airport (IATA: MYR[4]ICAO: 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.

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2013–2017 categorized this facility as a primary commercial service airport.[5] As per the Federal Aviation Administration, it had 823,294 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2013, an increase of 13.9% from 722,775 enplanements in 2012.[6]

Myrtle Beach is the third-busiest airport in South Carolina behind Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg, with nearly 1.7 million passengers (arriving and departing) in 2013. The airport is a focus city for Spirit Airlines, which handles just over half of the total passengers using the airport.[7] 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.[8]

The airport's official website since 2006 is FlyMyrtleBeach.com,[9] which was previously an unofficial website owned by an airport employee.[10] In July 2012 the airport launched a redesigned website with a new logo.[11][12][13]

History[edit]

Joint use of Myrtle Beach Air Force Base was first agreed in 1955.[14] The airport and terminal was constructed in 1975 and opened in 1976. 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.[15]

In the 1980s, the airport was served by Piedmont Airlines mainline aircraft (later acquired by USAir) and by Delta and Eastern commuter aircraft.[16]

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]

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.[17] American returned to Myrtle Beach in 2010 with a seasonal service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.[18]

On April 1, 1996, Myrtle Beach Airport became an international airport. A new international terminal had 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".[19]

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.[20] However, Pace decided to keep its base (also used for charter operations) in Winston-Salem.[21]

In 2006 AirTran Airways discontinued its service to Atlanta; it was the fourth-largest airline serving Myrtle Beach International at the time.[22]

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.[23] The failure of Direct Air caused a slump in passenger traffic at Myrtle Beach,[24] 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.[25]

The airport was a designated launch abort site for the Space Shuttle, but was never used.[26]

Renovations[edit]

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 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.[27]

On May 17, 2010, Horry County broke ground on the Terminal Capacity Enhancement Program, which included air side and land side improvements and a new 240,000 square feet (22,000 m2) passenger terminal and concourse. The improvements increased the number of departure gates from seven to thirteen and the terminal's footprint was increased from 155,000 square feet (14,400 m2) to 430,000 square feet (40,000 m2). A new automated baggage handling system and passenger boarding bridges were added while the apron pavement and taxiway were reconstructed and expanded. A new rental car facility was also added as the existing parking lot and roads were being renovated. The new terminal opened on April 3, 2013.[28]

On July 11, 2014, it was announced that the airport is preparing for a $20 million project scheduled to begin in August and be completed within seven months. The project involves removing all the asphalt on the runway and repaving the entire runway, which will extend its life by 20 years. Airport officials identified the need for the project in 2009 and in the years that followed the airport worked to develop preliminary plans, secure the funding, and notify the air carriers. 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 impact in early October and in November. During the project, the airport will shutdown the runway after the last flight leaves each night and work will conclude prior to the first takeoff the next morning. When asked what it would mean if the airport's last flight of the night was delayed, an airport representative 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".[29][30][31]

On July 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Myrtle Beach International Airport was awarded a $777,845 grant that will be used for its major runway rehabilitation project. The federal government is funding 90 percent of the nearly $20 million project. Since the bid came in above what was estimated for the project, the grant will cover the shortfall, according to Kirk Lovell, assistant director of airports for Horry County. Major construction will begin in October. From October 4 through Noveber 21, the runway will be paved between 10:45 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. during the week and from 11:45 p.m. to 5:30 a.m on weekends. From November through the end of March the runway edge lighting system will be replaced, the pavement will be grooved, and permanently marked and grass and mulch will be replaced.[32]

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 and concrete surface measuring 9,503 by 150 feet (2,897 x 46 m).[2] The airport's entrance is on Harrelson Boulevard.[33]

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.

For the 12-month period ending March 20, 2014, the airport had 145,347 aircraft operations, an average of 248 per day: 75% air taxi, 11% scheduled commercial, 11% general aviation, and 3% military. At that time 57 aircraft were based at the airport: 73% single-engine, 18% multi-engine, and 9% helicopter.[2]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations
Allegiant Air Seasonal: Allentown/Bethlehem, Cincinnati, Columbus-Rickenbacker, Fort Wayne, Huntington (WV), Knoxville, Lexington, Syracuse, Youngstown/Warren
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Atlanta
Delta Connection Atlanta, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Boston
Porter Airlines Seasonal: Toronto-Billy Bishop
Spirit Airlines Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York-LaGuardia
Seasonal: Charleston (WV), Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh-Latrobe, Plattsburgh
United Express Newark
Seasonal: Chicago-O'Hare
US Airways Express Charlotte, Philadelphia
WestJet Seasonal: Toronto-Pearson

Statistics[edit]

Carrier shares: April 2013 – March 2014[7]
Carrier   Passengers (arriving and departing)
Spirit Airlines
874,000(53.33%)
Mesa Airlines
215,000(13.12%)
ExpressJet
130,000(7.94%)
PSA Airlines
86,000(5.29%)
Delta
101,000(6.13%)
Other
233,000(14.19%)
Top 10 domestic destinations: Apr. 2013 – Mar. 2014[7]
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
Passenger boardings (enplanements) by year, as per the FAA
Year 2005 [34] 2006 [35] 2007 [36] 2008 [37] 2009 [38] 2010 [39] 2011 [40] 2012 [41] 2013 [6]
Enplanements 776,051 692,364 804,742 705,430 704,771 782,737 848,230 722,775 823,294
Change +3.67% -10.78% +16.23% -12.34% -0.09% +11.06% +8.37% -14.79% +13.91%

Air cargo[edit]

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

Incidents[edit]

  • 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.[42]
  • 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.[43]
  • 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.[44][45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Horry County Department of Airports page on Horry County Government Website". Horry County, South Carolina. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for MYR (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective July 24, 2014.
  3. ^ "About Myrtle Beach International Airport". Horry County Department of Airports. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (MYR: Myrtle Beach)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved August 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ "2013-2017 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. September 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "2013 Enplanements at All Airports (Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation) by State and Airport" (PDF, 1.05 MB). CY 2013 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. June 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Spring, Jake (December 31, 2010). "Flier breaks Myrtle Beach International Airport record". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). Retrieved December 31, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Myrtle Beach International Airport". FlyMyrtleBeach.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. 
  10. ^ "UNOFFICIAL site of Aviation in the Myrtle Beach". FlyMyrtleBeach.com. Archived from the original on November 5, 2005. 
  11. ^ "Myrtle Beach International Airport (old website and logo)". FlyMyrtleBeach.com. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Myrtle Beach International Airport (new website and logo)". FlyMyrtleBeach.com. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Myrtle Beach International Airport Launches New Website" (PDF) (Press release). Horry County Department of Airports. August 8, 2012. 
  14. ^ "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. 
  15. ^ "Task force calls for 'international airport' in Myrtle Beach". Wilmington Morning Star. September 18, 1987. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Two Carriers Want To Land Large Jets in Myrtle Beach". Charleston, S.C.: The News and Courier. February 2, 1989. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Airport officials aren't sweating airline's decision to end service". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 12, 1994. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ Merx, Katie (August 22, 1996). "Airport Has Global Outlook: International Terminal Open for Business". Myrtle Beach, S.C.: The Sun News. 
  20. ^ "Myrtle Beach woos N.C. airline". Wilmington Morning Star. February 27, 2003. 
  21. ^ "Hooters Air flying to Myrtle Beach". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. December 29, 2002. 
  22. ^ Bryant, Dawn (December 22, 2006). "AirTran Departs Myrtle Beach". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.: AviationPros.com). 
  23. ^ Wren, David (November 13, 2013). "Bank going after Myrtle Beach-based Direct Air's former owners for $25 million debt". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Myrtle Beach Int'l Airport lands new Canadian carrier". StarNews. February 11, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  25. ^ Bryant, Dawn (November 19, 2013). "Rebound continues at Myrtle Beach International Airport, momentum expected to continue into 2014". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Space Shuttle Emergency Landing Sites". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Myrtle Beach airport ticket fee to increase: Cash will help fund expansion". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). January 12, 2011. 
  28. ^ Leopard, Courtenay (April 3, 2013). "The New Terminal is Open". flymyrtlebeach.com. Myrtle Beach International Airport. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  29. ^ Miller, Meghan (July 11, 2014). "MYR preps for $20M runway rehabilitation project". WBTW. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  30. ^ Holden, Brooke (June 19, 2014). "Construction on MYR runway could cause delays". WMBF-TV. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Myrtle Beach airport upgrades could mean delays". WBTW. June 19, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  32. ^ Rodriguez, Jason (July 31, 2014). "Myrtle Beach International Airport awarded grant for runway rehabilitation". The Sun News. Myrtle Beach, S.C. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  33. ^ Bryant, Dawn; Saldinger, Ava; Spring, Jake (January 2, 2011). "Top business stories to watch in 2011 in Myrtle Beach area". The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.). Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  34. ^ "2005 Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports with Enplanements (by State)" (PDF, 200 KB). CY 2005 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. Fall 2006. 
  35. ^ "2006 Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports with Enplanements (by State)" (PDF, 250 KB). CY 2006 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. Fall 2007. 
  36. ^ "2007 Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports with Enplanements (by State)" (PDF, 187 KB). CY 2007 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. September 26, 2008. 
  37. ^ "2008 Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports with Enplanements (by State)" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. December 18, 2009. 
  38. ^ "2009 Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports (by State)" (PDF, 891 KB). CY 2009 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. November 23, 2010. 
  39. ^ "2010 Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports (by State)" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011. 
  40. ^ "2011 Enplanements at Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports (by State)" (PDF). CY 2011 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 9, 2012. 
  41. ^ "2012 Enplanements at All Airports (Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation) by State and Airport" (PDF). CY 2012 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 31, 2013. 
  42. ^ Caywood, Thomas (April 12, 2012). "Judge grounds Direct Air's return plan". Myrtle Beach Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  43. ^ Holden, Brooke (June 18, 2014). "Malfunctioning alarm causes confusion at MYR". WMBFNEWS.com. WMBF-TV. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  44. ^ Roy, Julie (July 18, 2014). "Flight diverted to MYR for cracked windshield". WBTW.com. WBTW. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Spirit Airlines plane with cracked windshield diverted to MYR". WMBFnews.com. WMBF-TV. July 18, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]