New Airport Constructin Update

Construction at the new Panama City-Bay County International Airport continues to run smoothly and is currently about 3 and a half months ahead of schedule.  A summary of the contracts underway follows.

  • Contract 1: Heavy Civil and Airfield Lighting:
  • 115 pieces of heavy equipment in operation at any one time with approximately 160 personnel on site.
  • 46% of time utilized (360 of 780 days).
  • 37% of the 15” concrete paving lanes have been placed on 8,500 linear feet of Runway 16-34.
  • On Taxiway D, all lime rock base and the majority of the first 2” lift of P-401 base have been placed.
  • 12,902 tons of asphalt base course is in place along the Main Access Road (MRA) and loop road.  Curb and lime rock base installation within terminal parking lots now 100% complete.  Asphalt base course is in place over 75% of main parking lot.
  • 34,888 tons of asphalt base and 20,000 cubic yards of structural concrete have been placed on 8,400 linear feet of Runway 16-34.
  • 6,780 tons of asphalt base has been placed on Taxiway D, and the main apron.
  • Stormwater drainage pipe installation is now 99% complete.
  • Storm sewer installation within the General Aviation Area is now underway.
  • Over 5.4 million cubic yards of earth has been moved (98% of total).
  • Mass grading within Pond C now 90% complete.
  • Contract 2:  Terminal Building, ATCT and Support Buildings:
  • Gulf Power has completed installation of temporary overhead power to the Terminal Building location and site office trailers.
  • Installation of reinforcing steel continues along Area’s A and B of the Terminal Building.
  • New design of the Air Traffic Control Tower auger cast piles was required due to the original design not meeting the required load test. The original design required 72 piles drilled to a depth of 52 feet. The new design, based on the actual field load tests will require 44 piles drilled to a depth of 70.33 feet and 28 piles drilled to a depth of 80.33 feet.
  • Rough-in of electrical and plumbing for the Air Cargo Facility is completed.
  • Installation of mat reinforcing steel and dowels for the Air Cargo Facility is completed.
  • Installation of the drainage structures for the Airport Maintenance Facility continues.
  • Contract 3:  Utility Contract:
    • Contract has been executed and all necessary submittals, insurance and bonds have been received from the Contractor. Notice to Proceed is anticipated within the first week of January.

Dr. Ed Wright, WestBayFlorida Blog – Last Post

Dr. Ed Wright, former Dean of FSU-PC and authority on the whole West Bay area, including economic development and the airport relocation, has posted his last post and article on his WestBayFlorida Blog.

I could summarize, but I could never duplicate the effect of the writing itself. Below is the last post, and below is his last article, The Future – It’s More Than Building a New Airport.

Ed, you’ll be sorely missed in our area and online.

I quote in its entirety:

I owe you all an apology for being AWOL for so long.

It’s not that there wasn’t any news – there certainly was. I had expected to take a short hiatus over Christmas and New Years and to think about a new direction for the newsletter focusing on the broader issues of economic development and the need to build a regional identity and marketing approach now that airport construction has gotten underway.

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Letter from Delta – "sharp economic downturn"

Last week as I was on vacation, Delta sent a letter to frequent flyers, warning that we will see a “sharp economic downturn because of skyrocketing oil and fuel prices.”

The rest of the email reads:

Our country is facing a possible sharp economic downturn because of skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, but by pulling together, we can all do something to help now.

For airlines, ultra-expensive fuel means thousands of lost jobs and severe reductions in air service to both large and small communities. To the broader economy, oil prices mean slower activity and widespread economic pain. This pain can be alleviated, and that is why we are taking the extraordinary step of writing this joint letter to our customers.

Click the more link to read the rest of the letter.

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VIDEO: Panama City – Bay County International Airport Construction Update

The construction of the new Panama City – Bay County International Airport is ahead of schedule. The entire 1300 acres of the initial footprint is cleared with crews to start paving the main entry way from 388 in the next couple of weeks.

The recent approval of the state budget that included $12 million from the state will fund the first extension of the runway. Day one of operation for the new airport will include a full 10,000 foot runway. In addition, all the preparatory work will be done so that when they need to lengthen the runway to the full 12,000 feet, it will take a mere matter of months.

Something else that is cool about the construction of the new airport is that the terminal will be LEED certified using all recycled material. The stormwater treatment will be 50% greater than what is required.

There will be an additional 1400 acres outside the airport property that will be used for commercial development.

Check after the break for the video and more pictures.

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Panama City Airport Relocation Update

With the stay lifted, construction is heavy underway again with main runways and taxi-ways to be completed in 2008 and the terminal to be complete in 2009.  The new airport is still slated to open mid 2010.

All sounds good with the exception of another suit being brought against The Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service claiming that the 404 Permit issued for the relocation was not legitimate.

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Airport Cleared by Court

I don’t have any specific information, but I just got word that the case was thrown out of the Federal Court of Appeals in New York. This should clear the road to get construction underway pending the reissuance of the USACE 404 Permit.

– edited 1/26/2008 –

Apparently the decision was made late Friday and solidified early yesterday morning with the airport authority being notified just before their regular Monday morning meeting. We all, including the airport officials, expected to wait weeks if not months for this thing to draw out and certainly did not expect a decision so quickly. This speaks strongly to the quality of work the FAA and the other agencies involved in support of the relocation.

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