Big news! There is a new major airport being built in the Florida panhandle. The Jacksonville Business Journal reports that finally, with demand so high, there is going to be a new airport added in the US. This hasn’t happened in decades!

“The Panama City-Bay County International Airport has secured a $26.3 million federal grant to build the first phase of a new airport on land owned by The St. Joe Co. St. Joe donated 4,000 acres for the airport as part of a deal to get a mixed-use development project approved in the Panhandle, and an additional 9,000 acres for mitigation of the impact of airport construction. In July Bay County found a buyer for the property the existing airport occupies.

“The airport authority made important progress on three fronts today: finance, construction and environmental protection,” said Panama City-Bay County International Airport Authority Chairman Joe Tannehill. “We are going to work tirelessly to make this airport a major success for this entire region.”

The grant came from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program. The airport also agreed to obtain a $6 million letter of credit to provide financial assurance for the implementation and management of the 10,000-acre mitigation area associated with the airport’s relocation.

Phoenix Construction, based in Lynn Haven, near Panama City, will do site preparation for the new airport for $112.5 million. Construction is expected to start this year on the 4,000 acres donated by St. Joe as part of its 16,000-acre West Bay development. The first phase consists of residential units, commercial space and a hotel. The second and third phases of the project consist of industrial, commercial and retail space; residential units; a marina; and an inn.