Greg Duckworth | SC House District 104 General Aviation Update
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04 Feb SC House District 104 General Aviation Update

This morning was especially busy for the NMB airport staff, Jim Offutt, Norton Geddie, myself, and the pilot community at Grand Strand Airport (KCRE) because we played host to the South Carolina Breakfast Club.

If you’ve ever been to this event, you know the excellent kind of fellowship that takes place as fellow pilots and aviation enthusiasts from across the state and beyond have converged on a SC airport every other Sunday since 1938 (missing only events during World War II when fuel was not available) for a southern breakfast and the opportunity to discuss airplanes and anything else that is on their minds. This is a club that has no dues – you join by attending your first meeting, and “the only rule is to fly safe.”

Newly appointed District 7 South Carolina Aeronautics Commissioner, Chris Bethea, talks with an aviation enthusiast about the Grand Strand Airport’s importance to Horry County and the North Strand.

While forecast weather conditions scuttled many flight plans, it is always better to remain safely on the ground with the chance to return to the air when blue skies prevail! Even so, with locals and folks coming in from as far as Brunswick, NC, we ended up with quite a nice-sized group.

As a member of the SC House Aviation Caucus and a fellow pilot, it was my pleasure to recognize 2018 as the Breakfast Club’s 80th year in existence by presenting them with a South Carolina state flag that had been flown over the State Capitol.

In addition to a delicious breakfast provided by Dino’s House of Pancakes, we enjoyed learning about aviation-related events coming to our area:

The Wings Over Myrtle Beach Airshow is being held at KMYR this spring – the dates of the show are April 28th and 29th – this will cause temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) to be in place and will affect KCRE during practice and demonstrations by the Blue Angels.

Upcoming Projects – KCRE is one of the oldest and busiest General Aviation Airports in South Carolina and it has been approved for a Runway/Taxiway rehab funded by federal grants. Work is slated to begin in October 2018. There will be changes to the taxiways from the 45s to new 90-degree intersections – the taxiway will become the temporary runway while Runway 5-23 are being resurfaced (VFR-only during the day). The improvements are supposed to be completed by end of the year.

Do you remember the Old Ramp 66 Air Terminal? This mural can be seen painted on the wall above the modern-day terminal’s counter at KCRE. General Aviation plays a very large, positive economic impact on the North Strand, Horry County, and the State of South Carolina.

Thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia. If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don’t hesitate to contact me.