Fort Walton Beach Airport Terminal Ready for Takeoff

By: Michael Tolbert
By: Michael Tolbert

The new terminal at the Okaloosa Regional Airport has been plagued by layovers. Post 9/11 security requirements and AirTran's pullout in 2002 are just a few things that have kept the project grounded.

Attention airline passengers, the new terminal at the Okaloosa Regional Airport is now open for business, and for one hungry traveler, that's a good thing.

"It’s nice to have some restaurants in here and the space to walk around, it’s nice," says Mike Black.

"It provides our community with a front door and the last look that people may have when they leave the community," says Terry Curry, the airport operations manager.

The new terminal costs around $30 million and includes six gates along with modern amenities frequent travelers expect. Also, security here is tight. State of the art cameras allow airport personnel to scan the entire complex.

Like any grand opening, there's the occasional glitch, but by and large things ran pretty smoothly.

“All the systems are working really well. People are getting a lot of quality training, people are making their mistakes along the way and learning the systems and doing their absolute best to make sure the public has the absolute best traveling experience," says Curry.

The old terminal still remains but will soon be torn down. Nobody here seemed to mind.

"I've never flown here before, but for a regional airport this is actually pretty nice. I'm impressed," says Nathan Taylor from Tallahassee.

“This Okaloosa terminal has come a long way since I moved down here 10 years ago. There's definitely a big change," says Black.

If you plan on traveling this holiday season, make sure to use the west or side entrance of the new terminal. The main entrance should be completed in about six months.


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