Looking To Lure 'Top Tier' Aerospace Companies To The Region
Economic development officials in northwest Florida say new hangars are needed at the recently-opened Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (KECP) in an effort to attract "top tier" aerospace companies to the region.
Bay County Economic Development Alliance Director Neal Wade is calling for two hangars to be built at the airport. He said that there is one "serious contender" that could bring as many as 700 aerospace jobs to the region, but "we've got to have hangars. We have to have infrastructure," he said
The Panama City News Herald reports that Wade could not disclose the name of the company considering the airport.
Airport officials are working towards opening land for the development of hangars. Airport executive director Parker McClellan said that there are 50 acres currently ready for development, and if one hangar opened, up to 200 additional acres could be developed.
Wade said the city recently lost a deal with Commercial Jet to Dothan, AL, because of the infrastructure in place at Dothan Regional Airport. Wade was part of a Florida delegation to the Paris Air Show last month. He said the state has been "courting" European companies to relocate or expand in the state, but that "site-ready" infrastructure needs to be in place to be competitive.