It’s been over a month since we’ve visited the new airport site and boy has it come a long way; no more construction trailers, no more hard hats, just gorgeous grass and colorful landscaping all around what can be considered Panama City Beach’s newest and best attraction.
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The place was as about as close to completion as could be; the parking lot was fully marked, the bridge completed and ready to pave the way for vacationers to experience the world’s most beautiful beaches. The airport’s interior is amazing; loads of Florida sunlight flooding through large windows and skylights, gleaming tile floors and hi-quality appointments all over the place. One of the most noticeable features, you’ll find, is the Southwest Airlines counter. Colorful and fun, it really sets the tone for the whole experience. The downstairs area includes a sophisticated baggage security system, wide areas for walking a nice kitchen area where you can grab a bite to eat and more. Take the escalator upstairs and you are greeted by more sunlight bursting through big windows. It’s new, its vibrant and architecturally built for housing large groups of people comfortably.
There are a couple of concession areas that will be serving all sorts of great dishes. The gates are nice and expansive with cozy-looking chairs for those awaiting takeoff. Lori Bates, the airport’s interior designer, made sure the place was nicely appointed from top to bottom, including huge administrative offices with hi-tech equipment throughout. There is even a military welcome center so when our troops are coming home, leaving or awaiting transfers they can relax with food and drinks provided by the Veteran’s Council.
The only portion of the airport yet to be nearing completion was General Aviation. All General Aviation services will be held at the old airport site until the facilities are completed in June.
Planes land and take off May 23. Hope you’re ready!