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Sat, Aug 29, 2009

Myrtle Beach Aviation Park Plans Underway

City Hopes To Convert Former Air Force Base To Commercial Use

The Myrtle Beach, SC city council got its first look at plans to convert parts of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base into an Aviation Park, which Hugh Owens with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation says could bring thousands of jobs to the area and millions of dollars to the local economy.

The base began life as a civilian airport in 1937, but was converted to military operation in 1940 and used for training during WWII, as well as a base for coastal patrol operations. It was reverted to civilian use in 1947, and then back to a military facility in 1956. It was finally turned back to civilian control in 1993 as part of the BRAC process. Myrtle Beach International Airport assumed control of the runway, but much of the land remained undeveloped for civilian use

Because of the length of the runway and the proximity to the popular tourist destination, Myrtle Beach officials say the proposed Aviation Park will be particularly attractive to companies looking at relocation opportunities.

Television station WMBF reports that while construction on the park could begin as early as next spring, it could take as long as 10 years to complete the project.

FMI: www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com, www.mbredc.org

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