Top 10 MOST READ Stories 2010 [LIST]

Wow, this year’s been crazy interesting, eh?  From the Treasure Ship burning to the ground, to tarballs on our beaches to the brand spankin’ new international airport opening – we’ve certainly had some news-worthy things on the map.  We’ve seen traffic accelerate normally into the summer, then explode over the summer, crashing servers, then settle back down.  We’ve hired new writers, lost a few, sold tons of sponsorships and overall grown tremendously.  But, today we’re going to talk about the top 10 MOST READ stories of 2010 on We did this in 2008 and 2009, and we’re back to do it again.

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FAA Approves New Airport Extension to 10,000 Feet

We’ve been waiting for it and now it’s here.  The FAA finally approved the runway extension at the new airport in West Bay to 10,000 feet.  Right now the runway is 8,400 feet.  The new airport, recently renamed Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is poised to open mid May 2010 and is on schedule and almost ready to begin FAA test flights.

Continue reading “FAA Approves New Airport Extension to 10,000 Feet”

Is the New PCB Airport Still on Schedule?

Panama City-Bay County International Airport is still on time to meet its completion date. Taken from a recent article on the NEW-PFN website, here is an updated rundown of construction on the new site.

Contract 1: Heavy Civil and Airfield Lighting
Approximately 91% of contract is complete with 80% of contract time used.

Pond C grading is 99% complete.
Installing Airfield Edge Lighting Conduit and Plazas
Continuing installation of Airside underdrain pipe
Terminal Apron concrete pad is complete
Morrell and Kelly Branch restoration continues

Contract 2: Terminal Building, ATCT and Support Buildings
Approximately 47% of contract is complete with 52% of contract time used.


In the utility area completed form work and compaction and preparing for concrete pour.
Continuing metal framing on 1st and 2nd levels.
In the baggage handling area continuing exterior CMU walls. Work is 60% complete.

Air Traffic Control Tower:

Preparing for concrete pour of stairs and deck Levels 2,3 and 4.
Installing decking and metal stairs floors 5-9.

Terminal Support Facilities:

Air Maintenance Facility – continuing electrical rough-in walls at maintenance office and bays.
Air Cargo Facility – continuing with the installation of MR gypsum wall board.

Rental Car Facility:

Beginning the erection of the pre-engineered metal building.

Public Safety Building:

Continuing block installation at 2nd level administration area.


An average of 155 personnel are on site Monday through Friday and approximately three workers are on site on Saturday.

Contract 3: Utility Contract
Approximately 57% of contract work is complete with 54% of contract time used.

3W2? Power Distribution Duct Bank is 95% complete; installation of wiring by Gulf Power is ongoing.
Street Light Duct Work is 98% complete; light poles being installed (approx. 6-8 per day).
6W4? Power Distribution Duct Bank is 100% complete.
Jack and boring on Main Access Road for fire hydrant installation.
24? Water Main is 98% complete.
12? water main is 99% complete.
30? water main is 90% complete; installation continuing on the utility road.

Lift Station:

Lift Station is 50% complete; plumbing is being installed.

Fuel Farm:

Fuel Farm is 25% complete; electrical work is in progress.

Booster Station:

Booster Station is 40% complete; concrete roofs are poured.


Triturator is 10% complete; vault installation is underway.

Contract 4: Landscape/Hardscape Contract
Approximately 7% of the work is complete with 11% of the contract time used.

Construction is underway on overflow weirs on Main Access Road
Performing soil preparation on Main Access Road.
Hydro seeding of Main Access Road is underway.
Installing aquatic plants at main entrance.

Economic Development Potential for New Airport

Commerical Property News’ CPN Online has published an article detailing the economic development potential of the new Panama City – Bay County International Airport.

According to CPN Online:

Most of the country is waiting for the economy to turn, or even for the federal stimulus to have some measurable effect on local economies, but at least one part of the country has a third option. In the Florida panhandle, in particular the Panama City area, a new international airport–under construction, scheduled for completion next year–promises economic stimulation, both in terms of business growth and real estate development.

“A new business community will be able to grow around the new airport in a way that’s impossible around the existing airport, which is too small and too hemmed in for further expansion,” Randall S. Curtis, executive director of the Panama City-Bay County International Airport, told CPN. “But the long-term impact will involve more than development in the immediate vicinity of the airport. The entire region stands to benefit.”

The full article can be read here.


New Aerials of the New Panama City Bay County International Airport

New aerials have been released of the construction progress at the new aiport site in West Bay in North Bay County.  The new airport in Panama City Beach is located on 4,000 acres of land donated by the St. Joe Company with the current infrastructure footprint using 1400 acres of the property.

This photo shows the terminal and main parking area.  The left side of the picture is south whereas the right side of the picture is north (or approximately).  The U-shape onthe bottom is the pavement around the main wing of the terminal with the T-shape (with the stem of the T fitting in the U) being the actual terminal footprint.  The box-shapes above the terminal area is the main parking with the cleared area above it (I beleive) will be auxilary parking.  The area to the left is the general aviation area.

Airport Authority Prevails on Permit Challenge

News Release



Panama City, Florida – (October 30, 2008) – The Panama City – Bay County International Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) received a Final Order in U.S. District Court in the Florida Clean Water Network, National Resource Defense Council and Defenders of Wildlife’s challenge to environmental permits issued on the Airport Authority’s project for a new international airport in West Bay.

In February, 2008 the Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit challenging the legality of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit and attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order to suspend the permit and stop the construction of the Northwest Florida’s new airport. The Court denied the Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order

In his ruling issued today, Judge Timothy J. Corrigan of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division  found that “the record supports that the Corps considered the concerns raised by those who opposed the project and the comments of those who favored it, it considered the FAA’s position, and it considered the goal of the Authority before determining that the project purpose should appropriately include flexibility for growth opportunities sufficient that international charter operations could use the airport.”

The Court further found that “the Corps considered the record before it, including the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) prepared by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the West Bay Vision Plan (which, as noted above, envisions a fifty year regional development plan anchored by the relocated Airport), and determined that compatibility with these local and regional comprehensive planning efforts was a necessary and not incidental component of the project…..[T]he County looked to use the airport project as a centerpiece to stimulate economic development in the region at the only site that could accommodate growth and FAA safety and military airspace concerns while avoiding hurricane storm surges…”

“I am thrilled with the court’s decision.  This has been a long fought battle and I am pleased that the court has vindicated our decision and the decision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Joseph Tannehill, Chairman of the Airport Authority. “As the federal court noted, this airport project is the centerpiece to stimulate economic development. There’s no better time in the history of Bay County, considering these economic times, than for us to have this project at this stage at this time.”

Judge Corrigan’s opinion dismissed with prejudice the Plaintiffs’ claims pertaining to the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit which the Plaintiffs brought against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Army Corp of Engineers under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

“This Airport and the West Bay Sector Plan represent unique opportunities for Northwest Florida,” said Bill Cramer, Vice Chairman of the Airport Authority. “For once economic development can be advanced in unison with environmental protection. We appreciate the court’s judgment on our project and we will continue to proceed toward our projected opening of May 2010.”

The Panama City Bay County International Airport
Randy Curtis, Executive Director, 850-763-6751

Coastal Vision 3000 Presentation on The Beach at New Airport Site

Coastal Vision 3000 takes off with Milestone Presentation at Panama City – Bay County International Airport Site

PANAMA CITY – Nearly 100 Northwest Florida business and community leaders came together today as officials with Coastal Vision 3000, a non-profit organization focused on marketing the region, and the Panama City – Bay County International Airport discussed future economic and growth opportunities for the area. The open-forum gathering, which was held under a tented meeting space at the site of the future airport, currently the only airport under construction in the country, was lead by Davage “Buddy” Runnels, chairman of Coastal Vision 3000 and chairman of the Destin-based The Sterling Companies.

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