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PANAMA CITY, FL-The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the relocation of the Panama City-Bay County International Airport to a 4,000-acre site in northwestern Bay County owned by Jacksonville-based the St. Joe Co.

St. Joe agreed to donate the land for the airport after all permits and funding for the relocation are in place. Significant regulatory steps remain before construction of the new airport can begin. The project is also dependent upon receiving adequate funding. With the construction of the new airport, ownership of the land would be transferred from St. Joe to the Panama City-Bay County International Airport Authority and Industrial District.

The FAA issued a record of decision approving the relocation. The airport authority has been seeking to relocate the airport because of deficiencies at the current site to meet future aviation demand. With the FAA’s decision, the airport authority is eligible for federal Airport Improvement Program funds to assist with the relocation project.

“The FAA, through its in-depth analysis has provided an independent, objective validation of the need for this airport,” says airport authority chairman Joseph Tannehill. “Because of the FAA’s efforts, the people of Northwest Florida will have an airport that meets all federal safety and design standards. Furthermore, it will provide an economic development platform, which will be capable of attracting quality jobs and competitive airfares to Northwest Florida.”

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