Myrtle Beach International Airport

Chicken Strips, Clam Chowder and MBIA Master Plan

MBIABy Paul Gable

A new airport master plan update is being proposed for Myrtle Beach International Airport. Horry County council’s Administration Committee will hear about it Friday at the MBIA conference room.

Will it be time for a new chicken strips and clam chowder agreement?

It is fair to say that anyone who does not know the details of the last chicken strips and clam chowder agreement should not be discussing a new airport master plan. This includes our current airport department staff.

The last airport master plan update for MBIA was completed just five years ago. Among other things, it restricted the airport to one runway and provided for an expansion of the existing passenger terminal on the east side of the runway.

Instead of expanding the existing terminal for $40 – $50 million, Horry County Council allowed itself to be persuaded into approving a $120 million terminal “enhancement” project, which really meant a new passenger terminal with some refurbishment and new uses for the old terminal.

That wasn’t too hard, it wasn’t their money council was spending.

With the new terminal now in use for a few months, word is the airport staff wants to tear down the former terminal instead of finding some use for it (or expanding it rather than building a new terminal like council initially approved).

The current master plan was approved after council specifically removed plans for a second and third runway at Myrtle Beach International. Now staff will broach the subject of a second runway again with the proposal for a new airport master plan.

The last airport master plan cost $750,000 specifically eliminating more than one runway at the airport.

There is absolutely no reason to produce a new airport master plan. The county doesn’t need to spend the money; the airport has more infrastructure than it will need for the next 20 years right now and there will never again be a second runway planned for Myrtle Beach International.

Anyone who proposes otherwise should speak to the participants of the chicken strip and clam chowder agreement. It’s a good idea to know the history of a plan before you go about proposing changes to it!

One Comment

  1. The absolute best thing that could have happened was build a new airport out off of 31. This way it would be accessible to Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Florence.

    But nope, that was tabled because it would be in the county and the city couldn’t control it.

    Had this happened, it would have allowed rebuilding on the existing airport with more through roads and more tourism related things. Would have been a win win.