Northwest Florida Beaches Airport preparing for holiday rush

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Bay County is preparing for what officials say will be a busy holiday season.

Officials say they're expecting a busy holiday season. (WJHG/WECP)

Richard McConnell the Deputy Executive Director for the airport said, "If you look around a little bit we do prepare for the holiday season. Our parking lots, we expand them to take care of the overflow and we do expect a busy time. We gather information from our airlines and make sure we're equipped to handle all the passengers."

While officials said they don't have the exact passenger numbers just yet, they aren't going into the holidays blind.

"We go by percentages and we expect ourselves to be over 90 percent full on our seat capacity. With that being said it kind of gives us an idea of what we might see," said McConnell.

After Hurricane Michael, they're expecting a busier season than last year.

McConnell said, "You know I think we've recovered well. All the indications are that this will be a busy weekend and then all the way through the holidays."

While holiday travel can be stressful, airport officials want to remind travelers to stay patient this holiday season.

"Give yourself time to get through the screening checkpoint, bear with everybody," explained McConnell. "The weather could be a factor in your travels and just be aware that we're trying to keep you safe for the holidays."

While ECP has also expanded the parking lots to deal with any overflow from holiday travelers, officials say to still give yourself extra time to park the car.
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