Although many U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, this airport is assigned HXD by the FAA and HHH by the IATA. The IATA code HHH is used for commercial airline booking purposes.
Hilton Head Island has been known for championship golf courses for decades. In the 1960s, it was decided that an airport would facilitate an increase in the number of visitors to the island. Hilton Head Airport opened in 1967 with the help of professional golfer Arnold Palmer. An avid pilot, he also became the first person to land at HXD.
Hilton Head Airport covers an area of 131 acres (53 ha) at an elevation of 19 feet (6 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 3/21 with an asphalt surface measuring 4,300 by 100 feet (1,311 x 30 m). The current terminal building was built in 1995. At 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2), it has four airline gates. For the 12-month period ending July 31, 2016, the airport had 37,632 aircraft operations, an average of 103 per day: 81% general aviation, 17% air taxi and 2% military. In March 2017, there were 89 aircraft based at this airport: 55 single-engine, 23 multi-engine, 8 jet, 2 helicopter and 1 ultralight.