MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach International Airport is looking to expand.
The airport is working on a 20-year plan that would more than double the number of gates, but some of the details of the plan are still a little “up in the air.”
“MYR is well above most every other airport in terms of recovery,” said Horry County Director of Airports Scott Van Moppes during a Myrtle Beach Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday.
Officials Myrtle Beach International Airport said they feel comfortable with the steady recovery from the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. So much so, airport leaders are starting to “carry on” to the future again.
“As you can see, by the red numbers on your screen, two years from now, according to the forecast, we’re going to be undersized for the number of people traveling through the airport,” said Van Moppes.
The airport is putting together a 20-year plan to try to keep up with the number of passengers.
While some parts of the plan still don’t have an “ETA,” the airport took it before the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission for some input.
“Unlike Charleston and a lot of other airports, we’re blessed with a lot of area,” said Van Moppes.
The plan currently has two proposals for terminal expansions - both would nearly, or more than, double the 13 gates the airport has right now. One would call for 23 gates, the other for 25.
Both would build a new set of gates on the east side of the airport.
“For the last five years, we have added well over 1,000 parking positions, and we are still short,” said Van Moppes.
The plan has three possible layouts for new parking, one of which calls for a parking garage on the east side.
One major addition includes more international flights. Van Moppes said has been talking with two different international airlines.
Another possible addition the airport is most excited about would be space for a major shipping distribution center like FedEx or Amazon.
“What if you were able to order something on Amazon in the morning, and get it the same day from an Amazon Prime distribution center located right in that area,” said Van Moppes.
The airport is hoping to have the 20-year plan finalized to go before the Federal Aviation Administration by the end of the year, so we may have a better idea of what to expect then.
MYR Spokesperson Ryan Betcher says improvements would be made in a phased approach and only if the area’s growth requires them.