Getting to Hilton Head Island is now a lot easier and a lot more convenient. This spring both United Airlines and Delta Airlines begin service to and from the Hilton Head Island Airport. American Airlines began service in and out of the airport in July 2018.

The news of the added service to Hilton Head Island Airport is due to the recently finished runway expansion project. The airport’s runway was lengthened from 4,300 feet to 5,000 feet, allowing larger jets to land there.

Prior to the expansion, the runway could only handle propeller planes, which according to Jack Reed, director of sales for the Hilton Head Island Visitors & Convention Bureau, wasn’t as inviting to much of the population, let alone larger groups.

[Listen: How Extending a Runway Helped Bring Events to Hilton Head]

Most air service to and from Hilton Head Island was, and still is, out of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, which is about 40 miles away.

The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is also undergoing a renovation with a $25 million gate terminal expansion.

According the Reed, the Hilton Head Island Airport runway expansion project was in the works for years, held up due to public concern of its impact on the environment and noise levels.

The airport completed a study in 2014 that found the longer runway would have no additional environmental impacts.

“The planners who were adventurous and didn’t mind a prop plane were excited to be able to land right on the island, 10 minutes from anywhere,” Reed said. “It bypasses that 45- to 50-minute drive and the cost of transportation.”

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