New rules possible for helicopter businesses in Horry County

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Tuesday, Horry County Council discussed and took public input on helicopter rides and other aeronautical activities in the county.

County officials say they are going back to the books and adding more rules on how these types of activities operate, because in the past it’s been a concern for public safety and quality of life.

“We’ve had a lot of residents’ complaints about noise residential communities, school district there has been some issues with safety concerns with how populated the areas they come across upon,” said Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier

A few years ago the county was unsure they would resign the lease for helicopter ride businesses after complaints came in from the people who live near them.

“We want to make sure they’re at an appropriate location,” said Bourcier.

The new rules will limit these types of aeronautical activates to what’s defined as a public airport.

The two helicopter businesses within Horry County, Helicopter Adventure, and Ocean Front Helicopter will continue to operate regardless of the new regulations because they have been grandfathered in.

News 13 asked why make these changes now especially if it will have no effect on businesses already operating.

Bourcier says the county is trying to stay ahead of any possible businesses that might want to come to the county.

“We know the interest is out there,” she said.

In fact it’s happening in North Myrtle Beach right now.

News 13 was able to get copies of applications for special exemptions that show one man is trying to open helicopter ride attraction in the city.

Bourcier says this is the kind of thing the county is looking to avoid in the future.

“I think we’ve been a little reactive i don’t want to say necessarily we’re proactive because we’ve had some issues in the past but it’s a way to protect the quality of life of our residents,” she said.

News 13 reached out to both owners of the helicopter companies in town; however they both said they did not want to talk about this topic on camera.



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