Panama City–Bay County Airport and Industrial District
announced it has finalized its contract with Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR)
to provide programme management/construction management for a new, relocated
airport on land being donated by The St Joe Company in Western Bay County.
“KBR will provide day-by-day oversight of all contractors doing site preparation and construction activities at the new airport site,” said Randy Curtis, the Airport Authority’s Executive Director. “KBR will work closely with the airport staff to move the work along as quickly as possible while ensuring that all the work meets demanding construction and environmental specifications and standards. KBR also will provide expert counsel in choosing contractors to do the work at the new airport.”
KBR is a leading global engineering, construction and services company. A programme and construction team is located in Panama City and will be supported by KBR’s Management and Engineering unit’s Southeast field office.
Additional and on-going oversight for the project will be provided by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) airports division, the Florida Department of Transportation, and all appropriate federal and state environmental regulatory agencies, including (but not limited to) the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Groundbreaking for the new airport is expected in late Summer or early Fall. Work on the project is expected to last 24 to 30 months.
The Airport Authority is nearing completion of a ten-year process to relocate the airport. In the late 1980s, the Airport Authority began an effort to address significant deficiencies at the existing airport, including the shortest primary runway at any commercial airport in Florida and non-standard Runway Safety Areas at the ends of the runway. When local environmentalists and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection objected to extending the existing runway system into Goose Bay adjacent to the current airport, the Airport Authority began considering relocating the airport.
After working with the FAA to complete a feasibility study in 2000 and a site selection study in 2001, the Airport Authority identified a new site in Northwestern Bay County on land owned by The St Joe Company.
In 2004, the FAA began preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement considering two dozen alternatives for addressing the deficiencies at the existing airport. In May 2006, the FAA issues its Final Environmental Impact Statement which identified relocation to the new site as the Preferred Alternative. The FAA has recommended, approved and committed funding to the relocation of the airport.
The Airport Authority has secured Federal and State funding for the airport project. A contract for the sale of the existing airport site, a major source of local funding, is currently being negotiated. No local taxes will be used for the project. A Section 404 permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers is required before construction can begin.