Officials say construction is ahead of schedule on the new Panama City-Bay County International Airport. A Houston-based construction company in charge of the project gave the media a status report of the 320-million dollar facility.
Site work is ahead of schedule on a 1,300 acre plot in the West Bay Community, six miles North of Panama City Beach. Heavy equipment is making way for what will be the state-of-the-art terminal, 10,000 foot runway, and air traffic control tower.
The Houston-based company in charge of the prep work says dry weather and a close cooperation with all the parties' has put the project ahead of schedule.
"By the cooperation showed and the groundswell of working together, we are way ahead of where we should be at this time," said Roy Willet with K.B.R. Construction.
Next week, the airport board of directors will meet and give the "go-ahead" for the actual building construction to get underway.
The site encompasses a total of 4,000 acres. It will have plenty of room to expand infrastructure needs for the future. The runways will be able to accomdodate any type of aircraft.
The 300 million dollar facility will serve the Panhandle, and Wiregrass area as well.
Airport Manger Randy Curtis says, "Of course, everyone is looking at getting the lowest possible fare. I think as we improve service that will be something that we can offer better in the future."
The airport is scheduled to open for air travel on Memorial Day weekend 2010.
Airport representatives say they'll continue to give periodic media updates as the overall construction gets underway.
On Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., an open house will be held for the public at the airport site.