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Wed, Dec 02, 2009

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport To Open Next May

Designed As Country's First LEED Certified Airport

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, which is on schedule to open in May 2010, has been designed to be the nation's greenest airport, according to The Bay County Airport and Industrial District(the Authority). Development includes extensive use of sustainable construction materials, a landscaping plan that will not require supplemental irrigation, and a terminal building that is on track to become the first LEED Certified airport terminal in the United States.

Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines have already committed to passenger service at the new airport. In addition, the Authority is in the process of obtaining foreign trade zone status.

According to Bob Montgomery, Southwest's vice president of properties, current plans call for eight non-stop flights a day from four different cities, totaling about 2,000 passengers per day coming into the new airport. "I'm just so happy to be here and so happy that this day has finally come," Montgomery said, noting that the airline would help make the region more accessible to a broader market across the country.

In addition, the 4,000-acre airport includes 1,400 acres of commercial and industrial land available for development with favorable zoning. That gives air freight carriers, manufacturers, distributors and other aviation-related users greenfield "inside the fence" development opportunities at Florida's first truly green airport and industrial business park. Opportunities include parcels of all sizes with direct runway access, as well as select off-runway parcels to accommodate both traditional airfield and compatible non-traditional airfield based users.

To help mitigate the development of the Airport, 9,600 acres of West Bay coastline, wetlands, and pine forest have been set aside as part of the Airport Conservation Easement. The Authority has also developed detailed plans for wetlands mitigation, wildlife management, a state-of-the-art storm water management system and wastewater treatment that all greatly exceed minimum requirements set by Florida law by voluntarily committing to follow Outstanding Florida Water standards for storm water, the highest standard in the state of Florida.

Jones Lang LaSalle represents the Authority in arranging long-term leases to facilitate development, and also serves as project manager for developing the Property adjacent to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. "Panama City's great transportation infrastructure, central location, strong defense/aerospace presence, and educated workforce makes it ideal for air freight distribution, manufacturing and high-tech aviation-related services, and the opportunity for direct runway access at a greenfield site makes this airport a unique opportunity for a number of different user types," said Richard Norton, Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle. "The fact that Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is one of the greenest airports in the country will be a strong consideration as companies become more and more conscious of their environmental impact."

The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport anchors the 75,000-acre West Bay Sector Plan, a long term land use plan for mixed-use residential, commercial and business development. It features permanent protection of 41,000 acres of environmentally sensitive land, including 33 miles of shoreline on West Bay and 44 miles of local creeks and tributaries.

FMI: www.jllnewflairport.com

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