DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) – It’s possible that someday in the future, you could be catching flights at the Defuniak Springs Municipal Airport.

State and local officials stuck shovels in the ground Tuesday for the new terminal at the airport.

The $6.9 million project will pave the way for the airport to expand beyond its current capabilities.

The new and improved airport terminal will be over ten times larger than the current building.

“Our current FBO, fixed-based operator terminal were in there’s about 600 square feet in the lobby and this new facility will be 7,800 square feet,” DeFuniak Springs Municipal Airport Director Daniel Edwards said. “There will be associate classrooms for flight instruction, there will be classrooms, there will be lounges, pilots’ lounges. It’s just going to be, I think, a hallmark facility for the city.”

Edwards said there are currently twelve other projects in the works associated with the terminal.

Priority number one after the terminal is complete is a runway extension.

The project will extend the runway from about 4,100 feet to just over 5,000 feet.

This will allow the airport to support larger aircraft.

City officials said the growth of the airport will be huge for the region’s economy.

“This region sees millions upon millions of visitors every year passing through to the beach and right now they have to choose between either ECP or VPS,” DeFuniak Springs City Councilman Todd Bierbaum said. “Well with the four-lane of 331 and an expanded airport, we can now offer them a quick and easy way to the beaches of South Walton.”

Airport officials predict a 20-month build-out, barring any supply chain issues.

“We’re very proud of how it’s coming along,” Florida State Senator George Gainer said. “It has brought the county and the city and the state all close together.”