Airport expansion projects planned for 2019

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The local airport is celebrating some big milestones.

In 2018, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport saw its one-millionth passenger pass through, nine years after it opened.

December alone recorded a 28 percent increase in passengers and a 12 percent growth over 2017, despite Hurricane Michael.

And with more passengers, comes more physical growth. This year, the airport will add more overflow parking and a terminal expansion, however, the recent government shutdown has slowed down progress on these changes.

"We're going to work on getting the loading bridges so that the terminal expansion project can come after that, so we're moving forward. It's a slow process but we're trying very hard to get that moving forward," said Parker McClellan, the airport's executive director.

The plan calls for the terminal expansion project to be completed before Super Summer Saturdays begin.