Post Tagged with: "ITAP"

Wasteful Spending at International Technology and Aerospace Park

September 18, 2016 6:36 AM
Wasteful Spending at International Technology and Aerospace Park

The Myrtle Beach Planning Commission amended the development plan for the International Technology and Aerospace Park at Myrtle Beach International Airport last week to provide for additional uses on the property.

The uses added are for medical offices and overflow parking for special events.

Much of the ITAP land was purchased from the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Commission over 15 years ago with grant funds received from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Grant assurances signed by Horry County Department of Airports at the time of receipt of the funds require the land to be used for aviation purposes.

It is difficult to see how medical offices and overflow parking fit into the category of “aviation purposes”. It is conceivable that the city’s amendment places the county in violation of grant assurances given to the FAA.

However, such a violation would be just the latest in almost two decades of mistakes and wasteful spending on that piece of property by Horry County and other public agencies.

Initially, the land was intended as the site on which the, then planned, west side airport passenger terminal was to be built.

After the west side terminal project was cancelled in 2007 because of skyrocketing costs and numerous other miscalculations by county officials, county council and staff searched for a way to avoid paying back to the FAA the $5 million federal dollars spent on the land purchase.

This search led to the birth of the idea to build the international technology and aerospace park.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in 2011 complete with grandiose pronouncements by local officials, including 7th District Congressman Tom Rice (then chairman of county council), of the economic development and “5,000 jobs” the park would bring to Horry County within a “couple of years.”

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Horry County General Aviation Problems

July 26, 2015 5:02 AM
Horry County General Aviation Problems

An email making its way around the county highlights continuing problems with general aviation at the Horry County Department of Airports.

Discussions about general aviation were taken up during the Horry County Council March 2015 budget retreat. It was mentioned that the county’s general aviation operations were running approximately $400,000 in the red.

There is a general aviation terminal at Myrtle Beach International Airport and general aviation airports in North Myrtle Beach, Conway and Loris.

At the time of the budget retreat, GSD wrote that the problem was the county, and specifically Horry County Department of Airports, has neither a real business plan nor any idea how to develop one.

That’s a main reason the International Technology and Aerospace Park (ITAP) at Myrtle Beach International remains nothing but bare grass and why the nearly 200 acres of county land surrounding Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach has no aviation related businesses located there.

This was reiterated in the email, which was sent by a long time aviation business operating in the county, “I would tell you that you need someone in this job that understands aviation, how to promote it and educate the public on the benefits derived from it. Above all, a complete change of attitude on how best to attract good solid business people at these facilities to service the aviation community. Only then will these four airports become productive and useful to the county.”

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ITAP Grant Symptom of Federal Money Woes

September 23, 2013 8:00 AM
ITAP Grant Symptom of Federal Money Woes

A recent grant announcement in the amount of $3.7 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to the International Technology and Aerospace Park (ITAP) at Myrtle Beach International Airport is a symptom of the greater problems affecting federal government spending.

While ballyhooed locally as a great aid to luring businesses to the now vacant facility, it’s really nothing more than pork barrel spending.

The 400 acre site, and plans to build this grand aerospace park, grew out of the failed West Side Terminal project at Myrtle Beach International.

The land was originally purchased, with a $12 million grant from the FAA, to be the site of the airport’s new west side terminal.

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