The recent announcement by Horry County officials that Kingman Airline Services will be expanding its business to Myrtle Beach International Airport is one in which enthusiasm must be tempered.
The announcement was accompanied by sparkling pronouncements from such dignitaries as Gov. Nikki Haley, Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and the like.
Local media was quick to pick up on this announcement to shout ‘180 jobs coming to Horry County’ without the qualifying ‘we hope’ that this type of deal requires.
We’ve heard this type of fanfare before – do you hear AvCraft and PTR Industries among others? I do.
It’s only four short years since we heard the last “It’s a great day in Horry County” when the last AvCraft deal was announced by many of these same players.
The initial reaction I heard from several callers who contacted me was, “Is this AvCraft 2.0?”
On the surface it sounds a lot like it. A small Arizona company plans to open an aviation maintenance and repair facility (MRO) at Myrtle Beach International.
It promises to provide 180 new jobs to the area over a five year period. For that promise, Horry County and the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority is providing a total of $250,000 in incentives (read cash payments).
According to sources familiar with the deal, the payment of the $250,000 will be phased over the five year period of the agreement and will depend on Kingman meeting targeted employment levels along the way.
Kingman will be leasing one of the former AvCraft hangars from Horry County Department of Airports. I do not know the rental amount. However, I have been assured by several county officials familiar with the discussions that the rent will be in line with market value and more than AvCraft paid.
In addition, Horry County will be spending an estimated $100,000 to repair the fire suppression system in the hangar and to repair the hangar doors.