A few weeks back a new name was chosen for the new airport: Northwest Florida Panama City International Airport. And while this name in particular certainly did not excite the imagination of many local officials, locals AND readers of PCBDaily.com there was another immensely popular name that failed to make it through the selection process. The naming of our new airport Emerald Coast International seemed to fall victim to legal issues and infringed trademark laws and branding efforts long underway by others in the area, around the country, and around the world.
With no few than several hundred votes of approval, the name Emerald Coast International won over the hearts and dreams of many locals, public officials and people in general that have had their hands in the developmental pot of the new airport in Panama City (or Beach 😉 ). There was an overwhelming positive response for that name here on PCBDaily, with several claiming it proudly as “their” suggestion. It was the clear favorite.
In the special called Airport Authority meeting two weeks ago the new name chosen wasn’t anything that was suggested, per sea, but it selected based on variables that seemed consistently popular with the suggestions (more on that in another post!). Northwest Florida Panama City International Airport is the new name of the new airport. But, I digress.
One of the reasons the name Emerald Coast International Airport cannot be used is because the words Emerald Coast have too many potential future trademark conflicts with other organizations in Florida, around the country and around the world. Talking to Dawn Moliterno, President of the Walton Area Chamber, she was telling me of all the other areas that Emerald Coast is applicable (and is reflected by marketing efforts), including south Florida (on the west side of the peninsula), North Carolina (Emerald Isle, etc.) and Ireland (this was mentioned before in comments).
The other reason it was advised against were regarding branding conflicts. The Okaloosa County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s brand is Emerald Coast (specifically Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast). And, as explained to me very recently, confusion in branding regarding different location and very similar name is not good for anyone. If you disagree, that’s cool, explain yourself in the comments below.
The bottom line is that the staff attorney for the Airport Authority recommended against pursuing the name Emerald Coast International Airport for “legal” reasons and the name was discussed no further.
I will say there has been quite a bit of rather public disappointment in the selection of the new name, which perhaps will be revisited soon, but more on that later this week.