Flights in and out of Myrtle Beach International Airport were suspended and canceled Tuesday night for a little more than an hour after lights on the lone runway stopped working.
Airport crews were working late Tuesday to get the lights back on, said Kirk Lovell, assistant director of the Department of Airports for Horry County. Flights resumed around 10:15 p.m.
“Some airlines have had to divert or cancel flights,” Lovell said at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. “We’re right now trying to get them up and operational before we go to see what the cause was.”
U.S. Airways canceled as many as two flights, Delta canceled its Atlanta flight, and Spirit Airlines had a flight waiting in LaGuardia and was holding a flight at Ft. Lauderdale — a layover to Boston, Lovell said.
Lovell said it was too early to tell whether the outage had anything to do with the nearly $20 million runway rehabilitation project.
Set up for the project began in August and runs through March 31. Crews from Ohio-based Anthony Allega Cement Contractor will be working overnight to rehabilitate Myrtle Beach’s lone 9,500 foot runway.
Crews are currently in the paving portion of the project. The runway is being paved between 10:45 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. during the week and 11:45 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. during the weekend. From November through the end of March, the runway edge lighting system will be replaced, the pavement will be grooved and permanently marked and grass and mulch will be replaced. The rehabilitation has a 20-year life expectancy.
Lovell said the project takes a backseat to the passengers being stalled.
“We’re making accommodations for our passengers,” Lovell said. “If we lose a night of work, we’re going to do what we can to get passengers where they need to get.”