Making something old, something new at MYR

This year more tourists are flying into Myrtle Beach for their summer vacation and that has airport officials working on plans to make everyone's flight not only smoother, but faster.

The plans include reopening two gates in the old terminal.

The Myrtle Beach International Aiport's new terminal opened in April of 2013. The old terminal remains in tact, and plans are for part of it to be renovated to make two more gates operational.

Kirk Lovell, airport spokesman, said the new terminal doesn't have enough gates to keep up with the area's tourism growth.

"We're finding more and more people and more and more airlines coming on Thursday and Saturdays because obviously the check-in and check-out of hotels," said Lovell.

Lovell said more than 800,000 people have traveled to and from Myrtle Beach so far this year. He explained how opening two additional gates will keep the crowds moving.

"What's happening is now we're starting to see bigger aircraft come in and the time it takes to turn a plane is increasing because there are more seats," said Lovell.

Plans are to make the old terminal one level, like the new terminal, and build new food and retail stores near the gates.

Lovell says the security and baggage claim will remain in the same location.

That means the taxi drivers who line up outside baggage claim won't have to move.

"It's going to be better for the business, it's going to be good for the town, good income, it's going to be perfect," said Florian Cangu, a taxi driver.

Once those two gates open up in May 2015, there will be a total of ten gates at the airport.

Lovell said reopening the two gates in the old terminal won't cost any additional money. He said the same money used to create the new termial will be used to fund the new gates. He said they've planned for the old terminal to be re-opened but had to wait for demand to be high enough.

The airport will also be renovating the runway soon. That has to be done every 20 years. Lovell said it will cost $20 million and 90 percent of it is covered by the FAA.