MYRTLE BEACH — The Myrtle Beach International Airport has received a $3.7 million federal grant that will build a taxiway to the International Technology and Aerospace Park that officials believe will put oomph into recruiting businesses to the 400-acre site.
Brad Lofton, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp., said he was delighted when he learned of the grant that was announced by the office of U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, R-Horry.
“It’s difficult to recruit aerospace projects without access to the runway,” Lofton said.
Nevertheless, he could think of several aerospace-related companies that could be interested in the space. Lofton said those include original equipment manufacturers, maintenance and repair facilities and Department of Defense contractors that build unmanned air vehicles.
Lofton said the Myrtle Beach airport has an advantage for aerospace manufacturers in that there is unlimited airspace to test their products once they get 10 miles offshore.
The city of Myrtle Beach, Horry County, the airport and Santee Cooper have invested $3.5 million to $4 million on roads, underground utilities and signage at ITAP, Lofton said.
He believes the park could eventually be home to 2,500 jobs that, because they are highly-skilled, will also be well paid.
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Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.