Crosswinds Runway Delayed


BAY COUNTY-- When Northwest Beaches International was built, a crosswinds runway was not added to save money. Many expected that today that expansion would be announced, that is not the case.

In this morning's airport board meeting, the decision was made to once again delay the addition of a cross wind runway.

The 5,000 foot runway that has been in the planning stages for years now would have been used for general aviation, primarily small private planes and small business jets but not commercial jetliners.

As the project date neared, the prices continued to rise on the project, from a total $11 million to $14 million. The airport's share of that went from $1.5 million to nearly $3 million.

"I am a general aviation pilot and I would love to have a crosswind but I would not put my personal needs ahead of what is most prudent for this airport to survive and be sound financially. So it's just a business decision," Board Chairman John Pilcher said.

Initial talks now indicate the addition of a cross wind runway in three years. These early talks suggest a 7,000 foot runway capable of serving commercial jets.


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