MYR looking ahead to future airport growth, planning major gate expansion
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - While 2020 was one of the worst years on record for Myrtle Beach International Airport due to the pandemic, the airport is now seeing one of the best years in the airport’s history.
MYR is one of the few airports across the country to bounce back at a record-setting pace. A spokesperson for MYR, Ryan Betcher, said they are currently on pace to have more people flying through the airport than ever before.
While the pandemic was not what anyone in the airline industry was hoping for, it did allow them time to look into new ways to accommodate passengers.
Some of the changes include faster baggage claim equipment, a brand new $60 million taxiway to allow for easier maneuvering for airlines and new concession locations, including the first Starbucks in a South Carolina airport.
Betcher said these changes aren’t just for those vacationing to the Grand Strand but those who live here and are using the airport more frequently than ever before.
“The core of our flying traffic is going to be our locals,” Betcher said.
With those increase travel numbers, MYR added Southwest to its list of Airlines to choose from.
They will also be keeping a majority of Terminal B open this offseason, which they normally close due to the decrease in offseason travel.
There could also be a major gate expansion at MYR in the near future. It would take place just outside of where Gate A7 is located the expansion would add five extra gates for multiple airlines to use throughout the day.
Plans are still in the early design stage but airport officials believe the project should be completed in three years.
Across the street at the rental car lot, canopies will soon sit over the top of each car in the lot providing shade and covering from rain and intense heat in the summer.
This project will be done in two phases over the next two years with a cost of around $20 million.
With these changes, the airport hopes to continue growing and opening opportunities for new airlines and new destinations to be added from MYR.
“2021 definitely set the bar high because we had such a strong recovery, so we are in a good position moving forward and very excited about the future,” said Betcher.
Copyright 2021 WMBF. All rights reserved.