The New King of South Has Been Crowned

by September 24, 2009 • 16 comments


Early Tuesday morning, a milestone was reached at the New Panama City Beach – Bay County International Airport Site. The capping of the control, a significant accomplishment in airport construction, was completed with nary a hiccup.

Dozens of workers, all using video camera cell phones to capture the event, lined the fenced perimeter to take a marked occasion in a very long process. Two huge cranes on either side of the 50 ton metal frame slowly raised the cab the 150ft to the top of the control tower.

It hovered under perfect blue skies before being bolted down atop the tower to be glassed in at a later date. While the whole event lasted a half hour or so, it was simultaneously the apogee to years of work and the crowning of Northwest Florida new king. If all goes according to plan, the new airport will be one of the signature southern airports, providing vacationers easy access to the “World’s Most Beautiful Beach” as well as low cost flights for residents. Seeing the control tower in place gave the airport a sense of tangibility, an air of “this whole airport-and-panama-city-beach-transformation thing is really going to happen, huh?” The ceremony was quite a thing to behold.

I asked Jeff Dealy, KBR’s program manager for the project, how many times in my life would I get to experience an event like the capping of the control tower. He smiled and said, “Once.”

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1 CJ Ryan September 24, 2009 at 7:40 am

Yo Jason, very cool… but the music at first seemed too sad for this exciting event! No worries, it was awesome to see and thanx for sharing!


2 Jason Koertge September 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

lol. I showed my 5 year old this morning, and he said, “Dad, that’s a sad song.” doh! I certainly didn’t mean for it to come out that way. I didn’t hear that song that way, I instilled great memorable emotion in me since the first time I heard it, it was playing in my head the whole day yesterday and it really worked with the footage. It is funny how we all hear things differently.


3 Lisa Egstad September 24, 2009 at 7:53 am

Awesome video – loved your article. I’m fascinated that PCB Daily is the only media invited – I would think that they would want everyone there. Why do you think they are keeping in so quiet?


4 Tammy September 24, 2009 at 8:37 am

Great Video, footage, and music! Thanks for being there and capturing a memorable moment that is a major milestone for Panama City!


5 Sherry September 24, 2009 at 9:32 am

Biggest thing happening in PCB…thanks for the photos.
Waiting to hear about the airlines that are committing to flying in/out of the new airport.


6 Neel Bennett September 24, 2009 at 11:38 am

Great Video Jason…you cease to amaze me…keep up the good work



7 Jeannie Whitworth September 24, 2009 at 11:39 am

This is so exciting. I am glad that you were able to be a part of it. I am passing on your video to all of my customers that are from out of town. Thanks for your updates.


8 D September 24, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Thanks, Suggestion for next rigging video; Music?? Play clip at faster speed (X4. That was like watching paint dry to prozac music. Humor!!


9 Jason Koertge September 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

much of it WAS sped up, like to 4,000%! I actually had no idea that it would take so long or I would have set up an additional tripod with my still camera and captured timelapse. cool, nonetheless.


10 chris figge September 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Thank you for the great video,my crew worked 13 hr. days for seven days straight to erect the cab and your video captured it perfectly it was a great feeling when it came over our heads and landed on the alignment pins the first try.


11 Jason Koertge September 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Wow, I feel like we’re talking to a celebrity. Thanks so much for chiming in! And thanks so much for your hard work!


12 Diana Chase, AR September 25, 2009 at 5:44 am

Awesome to see! Thanks for taking video and sharing! Great to see American Steel Workers getting some of the credit they deserve! 🙂 They did an awesome job!


13 Larry Davidson, 850 Magazine September 25, 2009 at 10:31 am

Thanks for the email yesterday, jason. I went ahead and posted a link from our 850 Magazine facebook page. I’ll write up an intro and post it to our 850 and Bay Life Magazine sites, too. Very cool!


14 Debra September 26, 2009 at 10:08 am

Awesome Video! Curious though why PCBdaily was the only one invited! Any way great job capturing a mark in history!


15 MIL September 29, 2009 at 9:02 am

Very cool! Thanks for all your great writing on the airport–it’s going to be great!