Hilton Head Island is a small island at the south end of South Carolina, famous for its golf courses and major golfing events. Golfer Arnold Palmer was one of the first public figures in the U.S. to own and fly a personal jet, and was thus promoting small jet ownership way back in the 1960’s. He advocated for the development of an airport on Hilton Head Island. That airport, on a tiny 131-acre parcel, opened in 1967.
The current airport configuration is a single 4,300′ by 100′ wide runway. The airport authority offers extensive guidance for noise abatement. A 2009 Airport Master Plan calls for the acquisition of adjacent properties (and some displacement of businesses) to extend the runway to a length of 5,000′. That runway extension will increase the size of aircraft that currently uses the HXD airport.
The airport is served by a contract control tower, open 14-hours per day, and handling 91 operations per day. There are 87 aircraft based at the airport. A U.S. Airways regional commuter provides eight daily flights to their hub at Charlotte, NC. The airport averaged 61,000 enplaned passengers in 2011 and 2012. The primary airport for commercial flights in this area is Savannah, located 30-miles west of HXD, and providing ample direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, LaGuardia, O’Hare and other hubs.
Scrollable aerial view at bing.com. Click here to open a new window with a FullView Image.
…The new airport Master Plan was completed in late 2010. It identified properties near the airport that were scheduled to be closed/relocated. Businesses, including the non-profit Deep Well, have been waiting for final decisions, but the county airport authority has been too busy handling other plan details to secure funds for property acquisitions and relocations.
…Deep Well serves meals, shelters the homeless, and assists in home repairs. It also provides help with rent, utility bills, medical care, daycare, school uniforms and supplies, clothing, transportation costs and more. The nonprofit has been in their 6,400 square foot location since 2004, and the facility was constructed with $1 Million in support from the local Rotary Club. Now, the FAA-approved runway extension calls for the facility to be removed and relocated, so the 4,300′ runway can be extended to 5,000′.
An environmental assessment, finding of no significant impact, record of decision. A step towards the removal of trees on and near the airport.