Airport prepares for new terminal's grand opening

MYR updates

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's been two months since Doug Maschin with the Horry County Airport Advisory got his first behind-the-scenes look inside the new terminal inside of Myrtle Beach International (MYR).

"It's a tremendous change from then," explained Maschin.

On Wednesday, a team of airport officials toured the site as crews pounded away. Opening day is less in less than three weeks.

"From now until then, there's obviously important milestones to be met," said Myrtle Beach International Marketing Director Kirk Lovell. He says there are cosmetic details to finish and a lot of the IT work as well. Over the next couple of weeks, the contractor will train the airport's staff on "how to use all the new systems and how to repair the complex systems," he said.

Airport officials will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 24, however, the public will have to wait to see it for themselves. Lovell says we are in the spring season, and parking at MYR is limited. "We actually had to restrict the ribbon-cutting to invitation only," he said

A dress rehearsal is next on the airport's itinerary, happening on March 26th.

"It's a critical event," Lovell said. "It's called 'test flight.'" Dozens of local aviation students will play the role of passengers, with make-believe scheduled flights to catch and real luggage to carry around as airport staff take their places. The goal is to catch any kinks that need to be squared away before it goes live on April 2. The goal is to smooth out any issues before they become problems for passengers.

Some issues Lovell expects the test to address. "Were they able to find the restrooms? Were they able to find the baggage claim?"

Lovell said he test run should help ease the tricky transition from the existing terminal into the new one. When that day finally comes, Maschin is confident passengers will be impressed, especially after what he saw during Tuesday's tour.

"This place has grown and just how beautiful it is," he said. "It's going to be a tremendous experience."

The new terminal at MYR is on schedule to open for business on April 2.

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