Florida Governor Charlie Crist visited the Panama City-Bay County International airport today and upon surveying the nearly completed site, said emphatically, “This is awesome.” With few invited to be in attendance, the energy was high in anticipation and excitement to see what the Governor thought of not only the newest airport in the state of Florida, but the first airport built from scratch in the USA in 14 years.
Hosted by the Economic Development Alliance (EDA), the Govornor was invited to tour the new airport terminal and the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
In attendance was Jerry Ray, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communication of St. Joe, Representative Jimmy Patronis, Representative Marti Coley, Airport Authority Chairman Joe Tannehill, Airport Authority Vice Chairman Bill Cramer, TDC CEO Dan Rowe, and various other local officials, board members and the like. Everyone was excited to show of the growing new addition to Panama City that will open in just 8 short months.
The goal of today’s get together was to show the Govornor the “economic engine” that will not only catapult our little area to the big map, but also drive jobs and economic growth to Panama City Beach. Representative remarked today that he had “goosebumps” as he had not been up there since they broke ground. I’m sure it was an amazing sight to see having not been there for that long. I feel honored that the airport authority has been so gracious in allowing pcbdaily to cover the progress so closely.
Sometimes it is easy to forget just how close we are to planes landing at the new airport. Today, Chairman Tannehill made mention to Crist that the airport will open May 18, 2010.
“We are on schedule and under budget,” said Chairman Joe Tannehill to Governor Crist during the period he had to brief the Governor on what was happening on site. “We are all set to open May 18th, 2010.”
“I travel the state quite a bit and to see what’s happening in Bay County is nothing short of phenomenal,” remarked Gov. Crist.
On a side note, I was able to get a little time with Chairman Tannehill, Board member Rick Koehnemann, and Jerry Ray and all three agreed that a new brand and name was needed for the new airport to depict a more regional presence. Chairman Tannehill said that this was something that would be discussed in the near future.
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