Crist OKs State Funding Allocation for the Panama City Airport

by June 13, 2008 • 6 comments

On Wednesday, Governor Charlie Crist signed a $66 billion budget that included $12 million for the construction of the new Panama City Bay County International Airport and the road that connects it from Highway 388.

The Panhandle Citizens Coalition had written a letter to Crist explaining why he should veto the funding for the new airport citing, as reported by the News Herald, that the airport was voted against in a non-binding referendum and that it has been under litigation.

I should remind John Hedrick, Chairman of the Panhandle Citizens Coalition that the non-binding referendum was just that, non-binding. In addition, it was held during a democratic primary with only 23% of Bay County’s registered voters turning up at the polls to vote. 10.5% voted yes and 12% voted no, a difference of around 1500 people of the total 90,000 registered voters in Bay County. Not to mention that 2/3rds of all those that use our airport aren’t registered voters of Bay County.

Details on the referendum.

Randy Curtis was quoted as saying that the lack of the state funds would not shut the project down, but the funds were approved and construction is still speedily moving forward.

Of course, the misinformed, narrow-minded Tampa Tribune has spoken again stating that “The airport is not needed. The existing Panama City airport is underutilized. The grandiose $331 million airport project in the middle of nowhere would destroy 2,000 acres of wetlands.”

I love how outsiders seem to have such a strong opinion of local things they know little about.

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1 Troy June 17, 2008 at 5:59 pm

I hate the Tampa Tribune… lol. There always misinformed or trying to stop the airport. I mean, isn’t there something exciting happening over there they could write about? I mean… it is Tampa, right?

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2 Tom June 20, 2008 at 7:09 am

It seems obvious that Tampa does not want the competition. Travellers know that that an airport with low cost flights (like Tampa) is desperately needed in the panhandle of Florida. The present airport is not used because of the cost of flights. The new airport will be a hugh success and Tampa knows it!

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3 Chuck Kramer July 14, 2008 at 10:02 am

Were there ever any ‘in depth’ passenger traffic, business travel, cargo shipping studies done for justification of this new, gradios air-hub ??

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4 Ryan July 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm

So this new airport is going to offer cheap flights compared to pc airport because __________?
A new airport does not mean cheap flights. What airline is going to add flights here with the little traffic that flows in and out of bay county? Without passengers the flights will be just as expensive as the current airport. PC airport is a ghost town and I don’t see why a new airport would be any different. I think you all are mistaken if you think it will make a difference to airlines because it is new. There is no need for a new airport until the traffic to the old one is outgrown. And the old ” the runways are too short for 747s” arguement is irrelevant as 747s wont ever fly here and only fly in and out of large hub airports with tons of traffic, like ATL, LAX, etc. I hope as much as the next person that traffic magically increases and flight prices decrease and offerings increase, but I just don’t see how a new airport accomplishes that.

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