County to support expansion of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport

More high paying jobs may take flight in Bay County, but first grant money needs to come our way. (WJHG/WECP)
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - More jobs may be coming to Bay County.

The Bay County Commission agreed to lend their support to the Economic Development Alliance's efforts to find grant money for Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Wednesday.

EDA officials say they're working to establish the Aviation Center of Excellence at ECP, which is made up of four different expansion projects. They say it would bring in around 400 jobs, which could pay more than 115 percent of the average annual wage in Bay County.

Officials say they are applying for grant money from Triumph Gulf Coast to pay for ECP's new projects. Commissioner Bill Dozier said the commission's support will show officials with Triumph Gulf Coast that the community is behind the airport's plans.

"This is over a period of time and as different companies come into Bay County we have the opportunity to attract them. It would be huge for our area,” said Dozier.

Airport officials say their plans include maintenance, aircraft refinishing, training, and education to teach future generations about aviation.

Officials say getting the commission's support is the first step in the process.

“We're gonna continue the application process. There's numerous applications that we need to put in so we can put together the incentive package that's very attractive to these companies,” said ECP Executive Director Parker McClellan.

EDA officials say they're also reaching out to secure state and federal grant money for ECP'S projects.

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