New Northwest Florida Airport To Open in May

 - March 25, 2010, 11:46 AM

Northwest Florida Beaches Airport (KECP) near Panama City, Fla., is scheduled to open on May 23, marking the first new greenfield airport to be built in the post-9/11 era. The new 4,000-acre facility is part of the St. Joe Company’s “master planned” 75,000-acre greenfield parcel that guarantees no residential development will be built near the airfield itself or within the flight paths. While it will initially open with just 10,000-foot Runway 16/34, an 8,400-foot parallel runway (16R/34L) and 5,000-foot crosswind Runway 3/21 are in the near-term plans. The new airport in the West Bay development will replace the Panama City-Bay County Airport. Nearly 140 general aviation aircraft–including about two dozen business jets, turboprops and helicopters–will be migrating from Panama City-Bay County to the new airport. KECP airport director Randy Curtis told AIN that the 90-acre GA site that’s adjacent to the almost-completed airline terminal can accommodate 105 T hangars and about 15 corporate jet hangars. Up to three FBOs can also fit into this area, and three companies are in negotiations to build facilities at the new airport. Sheltair has told AIN that it will be one of the FBO vendors at the new airport.