Bay County’s ECP airport OKs $25M deal with Southern Sky Aviation

PANAMA CITY BEACH — A second fixed-base operator is coming to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)

During an Airport Authority meeting Wednesday, officials announced a 30-year agreement with Southern Sky Aviation for the company to invest more than $25 million to build a FBO on about 11 acres of airport property. 

According to Parker McClellan, executive director of ECP, Southern Sky will work alongside Sheltair Aviation Services, which already has a base at the airport, to service small private and corporate airplanes. Fixed-base operators are terminals for these types of smaller aircraft. 

“It’s part of providing full services at the airport,” McClellan said of why FBOs are important. “We have that today with Sheltair, and (Southern Sky) recognizes that there is a demand in our community, and they want to be part of the growth of ECP.”

Airport Authority officials have announced a $25 million deal to add a second private and corporate airplane operator to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport's footprint.

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A press release from Southern Sky notes the development will include more than 10 acres of new ramps, 73,000 square feet of hangar space and an 8,800-square-foot terminal.

There also will be a conference room, lounge, offices, shower facilities and a flight planning and refreshment center.

“There is a significant need for a second fixed-base operator on the airfield, and that is truly being driven by the growth,” said Donald Howell, president and CFO of Southern Sky Aviation.

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