PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is getting started on big projects that have been in the plans for months, and funded by the $10.5 million grant the airport received by the Federal Aviation Administration in September.
Deputy Executive Director Richard McConnell highlighted those projects at the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday.
“All three of the projects are designed and specifically addressing capacity issues that we have at the airport,” said McConnell.
Increased traffic has created a need for expansion both on the inside and out, including a bigger terminal with two more gates, to be complete by next summer travel season. Also, a new aircraft parking apron and taxiway are on the way, beginning construction in the next couple of weeks with a 6 to 8 month completion date.
“All of our four air carriers are very, very excited about the opportunities that have come about here in the community,” said McConnell.
Future projects include a bigger cell-phone waiting area and a new system for airport parking using credit cards, eliminating the need for toll booths.
At the entrance, a roundabout is in the plans as FDOT works on the State Road 388 realignment project.
“It was determined, based on our activity, that a roundabout was the best option,” said McConnell.
That project is slated to be finished by 2023.
“The community is vibrant, it’s growing, and the airport is there to be apart of it,” said McConnell.