MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – There is a prime piece of real estate at the Myrtle Beach International Airport that leaders are hoping to lease and expand the industry.
This land is part of the Myrtle Beach International Technology and Aerospace Park (ITAP). For a company to set up shop that close to an airport has its obvious perks, including easy access to the airfield and the runway.
But there are some very strict FAA regulations with this land. It has to be used for "aeronautical use," according to Kirk Lovell with the MYR International Airport. "That means it has to be for the direct benefit of aircraft landing and taking off," says Lovell.
So it could not be used for something like an engine manufacturer. Even though that has to do with planes, it does not directly benefit the planes landing or taking off. But Lovell explains something like a maintenance repair overhaul facility (MRO) would be a perfect fit for the property. An MRO could be compared to a mechanic shop for planes.
The airport does already have an MRO for general aviation through Executive Helijet.
"But for a bigger operator that would work on commercial aircraft, they would require large facilities," says Lovell. "They have the MROs all over the world and around the United States. And that's the best thing that fits into that narrow category of 'aeronautical use'. There are others, but that's one of the biggest opportunities."
And airport leaders expect that would bring more skilled jobs to the Grand Strand. Lovell says leaders with the Horry County Department of Airports and the MBREDC are actively marketing the airport for this purpose.
There is a lot of competition for an industry like this across the nation and the globe, but especially in South Carolina right now, according to Lovell. This land is very valuable and marketable. Lovell says it will take time to find the perfect tenant.