New developments coming to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport

A new hotel in front of the airport and Project Gator are underway for the airport.
A new hotel in front of the airport and Project Gator are underway for the airport.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 8:07 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport has experienced a lot of growth in the last 10 years.

“I’ve seen tremendous changes over the last decade,” said North West Florida Beaches International Airport Executive Director Parker McClellan. “As we look at the passenger levels, they went from 325,000 at the old airport to 1.3 million in 2019.”

At a board meeting held Wednesday morning, board members talked about what the master plan holds for the airport’s future.

“So we look for ways to develop the airport for the future,” said McClellan. “Whether that be the terminal, the landside which means the curb, the parking, the roadway. It’s a 20-year planning tool but we’ve used passenger activity levels so it’s not driven by years but by activity.”

More passengers mean more amenities are needed, and that includes a new hotel right outside the airport.

“The St. Joe Company is building a Hilton Garden Inn as you came in the entrance road, it’s a benefit to the airport,” said McClellan. “All of those things are good and we look forward to the opportunity of having a hotel right at the entrance of the airport.”

Airport officials are also working on a plan called Project Gator.

“Project Gator is a project that we’ve worked with the EDA on,” said McClellan. “It’s a refinishing business company for aircraft. So essentially, they will come in and refinish the outside of an airplane.”

Airport officials want the public’s input on the airport’s future and are planning to hold a public meeting sometime in September to gather that feedback.

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