That’s right, the approved 8,400 feet of the main runway at the new airport site in Panama City is complete. With the exception of the center where the runway lights will be installed, they are done. Approval should come shortly from the FAA for the extension to the full 10,000 feet which will take just over 14 days to complete.
Onsite, they have the capability to produce concrete at the pace of filling a new mixing truck every 2.5 minutes so the actual paving goes pretty quick. The concrete layer is 15 inches thick and it lays on top of 4 inches of asphalt. The density is also much greater than the stuff you use to to pour your home’s foundation.
The terminal barely resembles a frame right now but is coming along. Construction time on the terminal will last almost the duration of the project, along with te air traffic control tower. The air traffic control tower has 72 piles already installed that reach 45 feet into the earth. Instead of using pre-cast piles, they used auger-cast piles said Roy Willett, Senior Project Manager of KBR. Auger-cast piles are set by drilling into the ground, and as the dirt comes up, it is replaced with concrete, all the while placing a steel rebar pole down the middle for reinforcement. In the video, you can see where the earth movers are digging around the rebar to clear out the top of the pilings.
In my interview with Dr. Ed Wright, stand-in director of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, it was mentioned that he wasn’t sure if the new airport would need any modifications with regards to turn-radius/taxiway requirements to accommodate the large Airbus A380 or other large cargo aircraft. Willett confirmed that short of the largest of the Antonov and the largest of the Airforce’s cargo planes, the new airport will be able to accommodate it all with the 10,000 foot runway – turning radii and all. Awesome, just flat-out awesome.!
I took some great footage this trip, enjoy!
The Panama City Airport relocation is moving along quickly with the main runway almost completely paved. The prep work has been done for the extension to 10,000 and upon FAA approval, will be complete within a couple weeks. The Terminal is under construction, as well as the air traffic control tower.
Here are the photos.