Airport Sale Delayed Until September

The Panama City-Bay County International Airport Authority has been getting ready to accept bids to sell the site of the current airport, but that plan is now on hold.

The board held a special meeting to take a look at estimated construction costs for the new airport proposed in the West Bay area, and the members didn’t like what they saw.

Construction costs account for about a third of the new airport’s total price. The cost has now jumped 13 percent from previous estimates.

Sasha Page, Vice President of Infrustruction Management Group, the airport’s consulting firm, says you can thank Hurricane Katrina for the increase in the price of cement, dry wall, labor and other building costs, and that’s not the only issue.

“The fact that we are at a very low level of design for a lot of the project reflects the challenge in getting exact numbers. As the design increases, there will be a better ability to get a better number.”

Airport board members voted to delay the bidding process to sell the current property, now set for next month, to sometime in September.