Southwest Airlines Reducing Flights from Bay County

Local airline passengers will soon have less options getting in and out of Bay County.

Northwest Florida Beaches International Board Members announced this morning that Southwest Airlines is reducing the number of flights flying out of the area.

The new schedule will take effect for the winter season.

Southwest officials say they will use larger 737's for the remaining flights so the overall number of seats will remain the same.

They attribute the changes to the normal adjustments necessary when beginning service to new markets.

Passenger traffic was down almost 8.5 percent last month and nearly seven percent this year.

Despite the news, airport board members spent most of the morning discussing expansion of the terminal and parking facilities and the construction of the crosswind runway.

"Increasing the size of the airport is because of demand. Sure we need a crosswind runway and we probably used some of the funds for that for environmental litigation but it's going to happen.We're going to use some of the b-p funds for a crosswind runway and it's going to happen," said board member Rick Koehnemann.

Board members will schedule a public workshop to take comments on the expansion plans.

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