Airport Passes 1 Millionth Passenger, Names new Chairman

by August 8, 2011 • 6 comments

The old mantra, “If you build it, they will come,” certainly seems true with the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.  Despite opposition, the new location seems to be meeting expectations.  With a new parking facility under construction and monthly passenger traffic up almost three times what is was in the old airport, it’s safe to say the new facility is getting it’s use.

The Airport Authority recently named Andy McKenzie the new chairman of the board, in replacement of Gerry Clemons.  Clemons retired his position due to term limits.

A lifelong resident of Panama City, Mr. McKenzie has been a member of the Airport Authority since 2005. Mr. McKenzie is CEO and founder of McKenzie Insurance Associates, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and previously served as chief investigator for the Bay County Sheriff’s Department.

“I am honored to serve as chairman of the Airport Authority and look forward to continuing the success that the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport has experienced in its first year of operation,” said McKenzie.

One of these successes was the Airport’s milestone of serving one million passengers, which it reached in July.

“Serving one million passengers is a tremendous achievement,” said McKenzie. “I know the Airport’s outstanding leadership and staff will drive this momentum even further as they continue to provide the highest quality service to passengers.”

The Airport Authority also voted John E. Pilcher, III as its vice-chair. Inducted to the Airport Authority in 2010, Mr. Pilcher owns Pilcher Storage and has served on the Panama City Commission.

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1 Jeremy August 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm

A welcome milestone, and positive bit of news. It would be interesting to learn if Southwest have definitely been running at a profit (which I assume they have) as per their agreement with St Joe? If so, it would also be good to learn if they have any plans to expand the numbers and routes of flights that they are providing to/from the airport?

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2 Jay August 9, 2011 at 9:26 am

The new airport appears is and will be a great economic boost to the area and region, and would be even more so if the airport authority could speak with Delta Airlines regarding treating Beaches Inter. Airport travels more equitably by matching the airfares provided to travels who depart or arrive at Okaloosa Regiona Airport (VPS), at Beaches Inter. Airport. Currently, airfares for the same destination are only half the cost to fly Delta from Okaloosa Regional Airport (VPS) as is the new Beaches International Airport (ECP)

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3 Cathy August 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

Congratulations Northwest Florida. Since opening back in May of 2010 you have certainly had your share of slanted remarks. But, you’ve proven nothing but “positive” business economics for this wonderful venture.
Your dream…. (Project of the Year) has made it full circle serving 1 million happy customers these past few months that in itself is tremendous! Southwest & Delta….. keep up the excellent work!
The success you have…. YOU have earned, I wish you the very best in the years to come.
Cathy/Tennessee

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4 Lady Slipper August 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm

I flew from the wonderful airport last November on SW. I was able to avoid Atlanta and that made me a happy camper.

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5 PanHandler August 10, 2011 at 9:02 am

Southwest Airlines is cutting their flights by half as soon as St Joe’s break even guarantee is up. Mark it.

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6 Karen August 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

Where did you get this inside info?

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