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WCIV News 4: City of Walterboro hopes airport will help local economy soar

April 5, 2012

By Lia Sestric
lsestric@abcnews4.com

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCIV) — The Lowcountry Regional Airport is located just a mile away from Walterboro’s historic downtown, but it’s serving as a premier landing spot for the region.

“We’re really proud of this airport,” Walterboro mayor Bill Young said. “Not many people would expect a small town like Walterboro would have an airport that’s this well equipped and the amount of air traffic that we have coming in and out of here.”

Nearly 80 percent of the airport’s business in 2011 was transient general aviation. That is a 10 percent jump from last year.

“One of the reasons they come here is because our fuel prices are the lowest in the region,” Young said. “They average between a dollar and dollar and a half less than any of the other commercial airports in the region.”

Mayor Young says in addition to enticing gas incentives and no landing fees, corporate travelers also have the convenience factor. There isn’t any security to go through.

With its location, the airport is becoming a connection hub for golf players, teams and fans to the golf tournaments.

“A lot of times it’s quicker to fly to Walterboro and rent a car and go to Augusta or Kiawah than fly into a bigger airport and do all the things you have to do to land in those airports,” Young said.

The city is also hoping the increase in air travel passengers will land more business in the historic downtown area. Currently, there are beautification projects underway.

“We’re hoping the people who come visit or come through the airport then see the benefit of a small southern town that has the hospitality,” said Hank Admundson, economic development coordinator for the city.

“People who come from big cities don’t think small towns exist anymore,” he said. Disney world spends billions a dollars a year to build one, and we have one right here. That’s why we are investing to add value to whoever visits the Lowcountry.”

http://www.abcnews4.com/story/17347340/walterboro-airport-story

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