Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Horry County will receive an additional $1,106,053 to aid in the construction of a new terminal building at the Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Graham announced the original $3,529,276 grant in April 2004.
The increase in funding will accommodate security enhancements including new security vehicles and fencing, and will aid in site preparation.
“Air travel is very important to Myrtle Beach and the tourism economy,” said Graham. “People love visiting Myrtle Beach and the more convenient we can make it to get there, the better.”
Earlier this year, Graham met with local elected officials, airline representatives, customs officials and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to push for more resources at the airport. Graham’s efforts helped Myrtle Beach secure its own TSA director instead of having to share one with Charleston. Before this change, Myrtle Beach was the only airport of its size in the state to be paired with another airport under the TSA.
“I've been very impressed by the growth of air travel in Myrtle Beach,” said Graham “We must continue to build the necessary infrastructure to allow the airport to grow. There's no doubt in my mind that increased air travel will tremendously enhance economic opportunities in the Grand Strand.”
Graham also pledged his assistance for the airport when it begins applying for designation as a port-of-entry, a distinction requiring the federal government to pay for customs handling. To qualify as a port-of-entry, the airport needs at least 15,000 international passengers annually. Myrtle Beach is expected to meet this designation later this year.