After years of debate, feds clear the way for extending the runway at Hilton Head Airport

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, South Carolina — The way is finally clear for extending the runway by 700 feet at the Hilton Head Island Airport.

Local media outlets report an environmental study calling for the runway to be extended to a length of 5,000 has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Construction on the $9 million project is expected to begin late next year and take about 18 months.

Officials say the extension is needed so that flights that serve major hubs such as Atlanta and Charlotte can continue serving the resort island.

The project stirred controversy with residents concerned about everything from additional noise and removing trees to lower property values.

There were also concerns about the impact on the Mitchelville community, a nearby freedman's village founded during the Civil War.

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