Legislative Efforts

South Carolina Aviation Association actively promotes aviation growth through airport development and safety to meet the air transportation and economic development needs of South Carolina.

Thank you to our legislative sponsors!

Promoting Aviation Legislative Efforts in South Carolina

2024 Focus

Meaningful, Recurring Funding
For All SC Airports

Funding is needed to allow airports in South Carolina to compete with neighboring states. Both commercial service and general aviation (GA) airports are critical to the state’s economic development activities.

South Carolina has 58 publicly owned, public-use airports located in all but three counties in the state. Of those 58 airports, six are commercial service and 52 are GA. The State Aviation Fund supports GA airport improvement projects and provides a small commercial airport entitlement of just $250,000 per year. Typically, airport improvement projects are funded with 90% federal funds, 5% state funds, and 5% local funds.

South Carolina is woefully behind neighboring Southeastern states when it comes to aviation and airport investment. Even when you include the $20 million in non-recurring funding made available to commercial service airports for FY 2024, we are spending significantly less than North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

Airports that transport people and cargo do not receive significant funding like other transportation modalities such as ports and rail. SC Aeronautics Commission leans heavily on FAA matching fund programs for airport planning, construction, and maintenance, and works to ensure that federal matching requirements are met to keep current and multi-year projects on track.

By investing $100 million per year in recurring funds to airports, South Carolina can position itself as an even more attractive place to do business, travel to, and raise families. 

When you add federal matching funds, an additional $2 billion in funding comes to South Carolina. Additionally, The South Carolina Council on Competitiveness found that every $1 dollar South Carolina invests in its aviation system returns $3,000 in economic value. Using this formula, recurring funding of $100 million would generate a $300 billion return in economic value.

South Carolina can’t afford NOT to invest in its airports.

Thank you to our members, our legislators, and the state Division of Aeronautics for seeing the value in supporting South Carolina’s airport system and keeping our state competitive in the Southern Region!

SCAA Legislative Accomplishments

  • In 2023, SCAA advocated for airport infrastructure investment. Effective July 1, 2023, $20 million was included in the state budget. 
  • In 2022, SCAA advocated for a one-time funding appropriation in the state’s budget to keep South Carolina airports competitive in the Southeast Region. Effective July 1, 2022, $53 million was included in the state budget, the largest state investment in aviation ever seen.
  • for In 2021, SCAA advocated for an amendment to the State Aviation Fund, directing all airline property tax revenue to the Fund. Senate Bill 675 passed and was signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster.
  • SCAA was an active proponent for the line item in the state’s budget for airport funding.
  • SCAA was involved in the legislative effort that led to the restoration of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission.

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PO Box 80994
Charleston, SC 29416
(877) 359-7222