MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The brand new terminal at the Myrtle Beach International (MYR) airport opened for business last Tuesday and there has already been a big safety scare.
The new terminal is twice the size of the old one, giving the airport's staff and police officers more area to cover. Kirk Lovell, Marketing Director for MYR says this Saturday they were still able to get passengers to safety once they learned about the bomb threat.
According to Lovell, the incident happened around noon on Saturday. Everyone inside the airport was evacuated as police units entered the terminal to investigate the bomb threat. Lovell says the evacuation was done quickly, and once MYR was given the all-clear from police on scene, everyone was allowed back inside.
This is the first safety-related challenge since the opening of the new and much larger terminal. TSA, the agency in charge of airport security, will not say for security reasons if the agency has added the number of officials working at the airport. The Horry County Police Department has not added officers since the new terminal opened. Lovell says MYR has made some staffing additions. Ten people have been added to help maintain safety and everyday operations inside the new space. He says so far, things seem to be working out.
"We followed the normal safety procedures," Lovell explained. "Safety is always first. We were able to evacuate the building quickly, and once we got the all clear, we were able to let everyone back inside the building, and everything was processed, and people were able to take their flights."
Horry County Police is leading the investigation into Saturday's bomb threat. According to Sgt. Robert Kegler with HCPD, the investigation into the incident continues.
As for passengers navigating through all of the added space, Lovell says the airport has received very few complaints. John Lizik visited the Grand Strand on a golf trip and says it been easy getting around. "From when you get off the plane, to when you get a taxi, to rent a car, to get out, it's been quick," said Lizik.
Local Dottie Heisler agrees. "This is the first time we've been here since they remodeled and we haven't had any problems, so it's good."