Opening of new terminal at Myrtle Beach airport delayed by a month

Opening pushed back a month

dbryant@thesunnews.comJanuary 16, 2013 

— Glitches with delivery of materials have delayed the planned opening of the new terminal at Myrtle Beach International Airport for at least a month.

The new terminal was expected to be fully operational Feb. 19, but work won’t be done by then, prompting at least a 30-day delay, officials said.

No new “go-live” date has been released.

Officials had been pushing to finish the $118 million expansion before the spring golf and tourist season started heating up. But officials said Wednesday that they don’t expect a delay to negatively affect the spring season; flights still will be operating through the existing terminal until the new terminal opens.

Golfers are more concerned with hitting the links, not which terminal they come through, said Bill Golden, president of marketing group Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.

“The airport is a distant memory by the time their feet hit the curb,” he said.

Problems with delivery of some materials, including metal exterior panels, has delayed construction. The standalone rental car building, which was originally set to open in October, still isn’t complete.

Some Horry County Council members said they aren’t concerned about the delay. M.B. Kahn, the contractor on the project, is expected to update County Council on Tuesday. Local M.B. Kahn officials referred calls to officials in the Columbia office, who couldn’t be reached Wednesday.

The expansion project includes the new 274,000-square-foot terminal and new rental car building, as well as new restaurants and parking. Earlier this week, crews installed the new sign at the airport entrance off Harrelson Boulevard.

Horry County Councilman Gary Loftus said delays are common.

“I’m not concerned about it,” he said. “Thirty days on a job like that – I don’t see that as any disaster. … How many years have we put golfers through the existing terminal?”

Horry County Councilman Harold Worley said the county could push to make the original Feb. 19 opening, but he didn’t want to scramble and force construction workers and passengers to be on top of each other.

“It’s just taking a little bit longer to finish the building,” he said.

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