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      New aviation school could boost Myrtle Beach economy

      Business owners in the Myrtle Beach area are hoping the Grand Strand will be the next aviation hotbed with the official opening today of the Myrtle Beach Academy of Aviation.

      The school held a ribbon cutting to celebrate opening at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

      They hope to serve 70 full-time students at a time.

      "We can train local people, keep those jobs in the local area," said Myrtle Beach Academy of Aviation President Jeremy Bass.

      The new school will generate anywhere between 55 and 60 new jobs within the next 18 months, Bass said.

      There is plenty of room for growth. The campus has enough space for new hangars and classrooms.

      A good thing, the school president said, with the International Technology and Aerospace Park positioned right nearby.

      Candace Howell, with Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development, said it's a sign of good things to come.

      "That leads us to be able to build that target industry and say to these companies, hey, look, we have training in this realm and this realm and in aviation here's what we're doing," she explained.

      The training and new jobs will have a trickle down effect, according to Howell.

      "They're shopping in the stores. They're buying cars, they're buying homes, it helps the economy across the board no matter how many jobs."

      Click here to read more about how you can sign up for the Myrtle Beach Academy of Aviation.