Current concepts for a new airport master plan for Myrtle Beach International Airport are in direct violation of an existing agreement between City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County governments demonstrating what must be considered incompetence by Horry County Government senior staff.
Approximately three weeks ago, Horry County Department of Airports officials appeared before the City of Myrtle Beach Planning Commission to share concepts to be included in a new Airport Master Plan the county will submit to the Federal Aviation Administration within the next year.
Prior to the appearance before the city, the airport plan was the subject of a virtual public meeting held by airport officials, a required step in the planning process.
The general overview being presented is that in the next 20 years, the required planning span for the FAA, Myrtle Beach International Airport will require more terminal and concourse space, approximately 28 passenger gates and expanded parking. For at least the past two years, airport officials have also discussed converting at least part of one of the current taxiways into a second runway for general aviation use only.
What hasn’t been discussed to date by airport officials or other county officials is the fact that this planning is in direct violation of a 2004 Planned Unit Development zoning district for the airport approved by city and county officials.
The 2004 Myrtle Beach International Airport PUD specifically limits growth of airport facilities to a maximum of 18 fixed passenger gates and one runway.
These restrictions are not only ignored in the new master plan, they appear to be unknown to many of the officials involved in the planning process.
Additionally, while airport officials felt the need to advise the city planning commission of concepts for the new master plan, this same information has yet to be presented to Horry County Council members.