New jet service offers improvements over turboprops that served Hilton Head Airport
The Hilton Head Island Airport announced Wednesday that American Airlines will begin flights to Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport in May 2019.
The announcement comes less than a month after United Airlines announced it would begin service between Washington, D.C., and Hilton Head in March 2019. The United flights will operate in and out of Washington Dulles International Airport two times per day.
In a Facebook post, the airport said the new American flights are “in part due to a runway extension that was completed in June,” to accommodate larger jets.
That $27.5 million project lengthened the runway from 4,300 feet to 5,000 feet and was the source of public concern about noise levels, tree removal in the area, lower property values and negative cultural and historical effects on nearby Mitchelville.
The airport completed a study in 2014 that responded to those concerns, which concluded that the longer runway would have no environmental impacts. As a “compromise,” the runway expansion — which was originally planned for 5,300 feet — was shortened by 300 feet, Beaufort County airports director Jon Rembold told the Island Packet at the time.
About 30,000 people use the airport each year, the Island Packet has previously reported. Most of that traffic comes between April and October, Rembold told the Island Packet in May.
American Airlines began service to the airport with larger jets in July.
Passengers can begin making flight reservations to the nation’s capital on Nov. 3.
This story will be updated.