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Why is Horry County suing planners of the Wings Over Myrtle Beach air show?

Horry County filed suit this week against the planners of the 2018 Wings Over Myrtle Beach air show, claiming there was a breach of contract.

The complaint is against the JLC Airshow Management company claiming that it did not pay for the transportation and safety services provided at the April air show.

According to the court documents, JLC’s transportation plans “were woefully inadequate for the number of patrons utilizing the remote parking facilities.” The county decided to supply additional medical services to the parking areas and buses to help get people to the show, according to the suit.

The buses were provided by Horry County Schools and the Waccamaw Transportation Authority. The schools charged Horry County $22,350.44 and WTA charged $9,432.51 for using their services, documents show.

The county’s argument is that JLC breached its contract by not providing the level of transportation to the air show that it promised. The county is seeking to be repaid what it cost them to make up for the extra services.

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Brenda Little, spokesperson for JLC AirShow Management, said there has been an ongoing dispute over the shuttle buses for about four months.

“It wasn’t necessarily shocking to get an invoice, it was the amount of the invoice,” Little said.

According to Little, JLC AirShow officials ordered 15 buses to take guests to and from the airport from Fantasy Harbor. However, long lines during the Saturday show caused many people to miss the event.

In May, Horry County Emergency Management Director Randy Webster told The Sun News that by 1 p.m. Saturday, there were around 1,000 people standing in the parking lot without transportation.

Due to the inconvenience, the county decided to order more buses, Little said, and bill airshow officials for the charges.

Airshow officials initially did not want to pay the invoice, but decided it was the better option. Little said officials mailed a check to the county last Thursday, but that it was not received until Tuesday.

The county is asking for $31,782.95 plus legal costs, and more money may be asked for during the possible trial to cover damages JLC caused, according to the suit.

According to the court documents, about 120,000 people attended the airshow. Per the contract, Horry County said it was to be paid a commission fee based on revenue. The lawsuit argues that the gross revenue number the JLC reported was not an accurate number and is asking that a real audit be done, as the contract required.

The suit says JLC knowingly violated the terms of the contract and now Horry County is seeking compensation for the money it lost on the air show.

Kelly Moore, spokeswoman for Horry County, said the county does not comment on ongoing lawsuits.

The news comes a week after the 2019 Wings Over Myrtle Beach air show was reportedly canceled due to taxiway repairs. Little said despite the disagreement, JLC was willing to do the show next year.

“This has been an ongoing issue,” Little said.

Six U.S. Navy Blue Angel F-18 Hornets are practicing in the skies above Myrtle Beach airport on Thursday in preparation for this weekend's airshow.

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