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Incoming airline charter operation could give Georgetown Airport economic boost

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 8:54 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 1:50 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - Georgetown Airport is preparing to partner with a company that will bring more growth than the airport’s leaders have ever seen.

Sherpa Air and Sherpa 6, Inc. are investing $19 million into Georgetown Airport to create more than 40 jobs.

Georgetown County Airport Manager Jim Taylor says the initial 43 jobs are only the beginning.

“Just one new job creation spills out into three of four other jobs created,” Taylor said. “And their initial estimate of 43 jobs in five years, I already know they’re going to crush that number.”

Sherpa Air says they are a charter operator based out of Oregon. Taylor describes the company as a niche operator for government, military and civilian contractors.

Sherpa plans to build two 30,000 square foot hangar facilities, which Taylor says will become the largest hangars at the airport.

Taylor says Georgetown Airport is one of the only airports along the South Carolina coast with the potential for growth. Right now they only have a fixed-base operator, or FBO, that provides fuel stops, maintenance and parking for private aircraft.

Sherpa Air plans to bring in multiple aircraft, Taylor says. Other specifics are limited, but he says the increase in traffic will require additional FAA funds. These funds should stimulate even more growth at the airport.

“Every one of these people coming in, they need a house. There’s property taxes,” Taylor said. “There going to have cars, that’s more taxes. They’re going to buy gas. They’re going to buy food. They’re going to buy goods and services.”

Sherpa Air has moved in their temporary office trailer, and Taylor says they are expected to get started on the new hangars as soon as the design is complete.

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