Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport
|Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport|
|IATA: ECP – ICAO: KECP – FAA LID: ECP|
|Owner||Panama City-Bay County Airport and Industrial District|
|Serves||Panama City / Panama City Beach|
|Location||Bay County, Florida|
|Elevation AMSL||68 ft / 21 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (IATA: ECP, ICAO: KECP, FAA LID: ECP) public use airport located 16 nautical miles (30 km) northwest of Panama City, in Bay County. The airport is owned by the Panama City-Bay County Airport & Industrial District. and is situated north of Panama City Beach, Florida, near West Bay. It is a relocation of the former Panama City-Bay County International Airport, also known as Fannin Field (PFN), which was located in Panama City.
The airport opened for commercial flights on May 23, 2010 and is the first international airport in the United States designed and constructed since the September 11 attacks. Though the moniker "international" was included in the airport's name, it is not expected that the airport will have scheduled international flights. The airport was originally to have been called Northwest Florida-Panama City International Airport, but its name was changed because the airport authority was asked to change it to a more regional name by airlines that are considering using the new airport.
Starting in the late 1990s, the Panama City-Bay County Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) started looking for options to increase the air service in the Panama City area. Proposed ideas included utilizing the current airport property and extending the current short runways either into St. Andrews Bay or into residential neighborhoods, relocation of the airport to a new site, or collocation with Tyndall AFB. With strong opposition to extending the current runways into an environmentally sensitive bay or into neighborhoods, the airport authority began to search for suitable relocation sites. The authority received a tentative approval to relocate the airport to northwestern Bay County in 2001. In 2005-2007 the authority obtained the needed permits.
The relocation of the airport was controversial in Bay County. The county commission chose to proceed with building a new airport and closing down Fannin Field despite a majority of voters in a non-binding 2004 referendum voting against the plan. Some felt that the St. Joe Company, which owned the land the airport would be based on, would derive an unfair benefit at the taxpayer's expense. Suits were filed against the airport on environmental grounds but were not successful in halting its construction. Construction was completed in May 2010.
Runway 16/34 is the primary and currently only runway at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. It is concrete/grooved, 10,000 feet long (3,048 meters) and 150 feet wide (45.7 meters). There are plans to build one crosswind and one parallel runway as traffic demand increases.
The elevation for Runway 16 is 68.6 feet (20.9 m). Runway 16 is the primary runway for landing and departure. The runway has a 4-aligned PAPI light system (glideslope: 2.83°), a MALSR approach light, centerline lights, and touchdown zone lights. The runway also has an instrument approach which includes S-ILS or LOC/DME, and GPS RNAV. For general aviation aircraft, the runway uses left traffic pattern.
The opposite end of Runway 16, the elevation for Runway 34 is 53.7 feet (16.3 meters). This runway has a 4-aligned PAPI light system (glideslope: 2.83°) and centerline lights. This runway has a GPS RNAV instrument approach. For general aviation aircraft, the runway uses left traffic pattern.
The second, cross-wind runway is currently under construction. It is designed to be 5,000 feet in length, and is slated to be operational by 2014 at the earliest.
The new airport features a much larger terminal, designed by HNTB compared to the terminal at the previous airport. The terminal, 105,000 sq. feet, has seven gates, Gates 1-5 have jet bridges, while Gates 6 and 7 are located on the ramp level for regional aircraft. The airport also has a US Customs and Border Protection inspection facility to process arriving international flights. It was anticipated that the new terminal building will be the first airport terminal to attain a LEED rating for being a green building as well. As of July 2011 it has yet to receive this designation.
General aviation is handled at the general aviation facility south of the main passenger terminal. There are currently (as of 2012) 110 GA aircraft based at the airport. 101 are piston-engine aircraft, of which 86 are single-engine, 15 are multi-engine. The remaining nine are jet-powered aircraft. There are no helicopters, gliders, or ultra-lights based at the airport. 75% of based aircraft belong to corporate businesses. Also, approximately 75% of GA operations are business/corporate related, 65% of which are categorized as business-jet aircraft. The only FBO in operation as of August 2011 is SheltAir. Flight training based at KECP has fallen off as ATP Flight School closed prior to the relocation of the airport.
The cargo facility is located between the control tower and general aviation ramp. Flight Express is the primary air cargo service to KECP.
For the 12-month period ending June 26, 2012, the airport had 47,604 aircraft operations, an average of 130 per day: 47% general aviation, 23% military, 16% scheduled commercial, and 15% air taxi. At that time there were 110 aircraft based at this airport: 78% single-engine, 14% multi-engine, and 8% jet.
Airlines and destinations
Southwest Airlines began service in May 2010 with 8 daily flights, 2 each to Baltimore-Washington, Houston-Hobby, Nashville and Orlando. Southwest started once-daily seasonal non-stop service to St. Louis on June 3, 2012. Delta Air Lines offers 2 flights to Atlanta along with Delta Connection service to Atlanta with 6 daily flights, continued from the previous airport.
Airlines offering scheduled passenger service to non-stop destinations:
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson|
|Delta Connection operated by ExpressJet||Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson|
|Southwest Airlines||Baltimore, Houston-Hobby, Nashville
Seasonal: St. Louis
Southern Airways Express is based out of the Sheltair FBO; flights began in June 2013 with nonstop service to two Memphis area airports (Olive Branch and DeWitt Spain), Birmingham AL, and New Orleans - Lakefront Airport.
|Southern Airways Express||Atlanta-DeKalb-Peachtree, Birmingham (AL), Memphis-DeWitt Spain, Memphis-Olive Branch, New Orleans-Lakefront, Oxford (MS) |
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|1||Atlanta, GA||Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International (ATL)||174,920|
|2||Baltimore, MD||Baltimore–Washington International (BWI)||56,260|
|3||Nashville, TN||Nashville International (BNA)||55,210|
|4||Houston, TX||William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)||54,890|
|5||Orlando, FL||Orlando International (MCO)||36,590|
|6||Dallas, TX||Dallas Love Field (DAL)||14,770|
|7||Chicago, IL||Chicago Midway International (MDW)||12,480|
|8||St. Louis, MO||Lambert-St. Louis International (STL)||8,060|
|9||Fort Lauderdale, FL||Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International (FLL)||5,870|
|10||San Diego, CA||San Diego International (SAN)||320|
|Flight Express||Birmingham (AL)|
|Key Lime Air||Albany (GA)|
- "Panama City, FL: Northwest Florida Beaches International (ECP)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. December 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- FAA Airport Master Record for ECP ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- "IATA Airport Code Search (ECP: NW Florida Beaches Int)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- "History". Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
- "EDITORIAL: Airport: More bumps". Panama City News Herald. April 18, 2010.
- Goodnough, Abby (May 9, 2007). "In a Quiet Part of Florida, a Bid to Bring in the Crowds". The New York Times.
- Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport benefits from added service, destinations
- Owen, Bill (October 21, 2009). "News Flash: New Service Coming Next May". Southwest Airlines.
- "Route Map: Summer 2013". Southern Airways Express. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- "Timetable". Southern Airways Express. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, official site
- (PDF), effective November 14, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for ECP, effective November 14, 2013
- Resources for this airport: