Panama City-Bay County International Airport is a public use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) northwest of the central business district of Panama City, in Bay County, Florida, United States. It is owned by the Panama City-Bay County Airport District.
Throughout World War II, the Airport was used as a Civil Air Patrol facility. In 1943, the Florida legislature approved the formation of an Airport Authority, the Panama City-Bay County Airport and Industrial District, to manage Fannin Field, or Panama City-Bay County Airport, as it became commonly known. In 1948, commercial operations at the airport commenced.
The Airport continued to be served by commercial airlines throughout the regulated period of airline history, until the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Airport had many airlines serving the facility with jet aircraft. However, the flight service offered was mainly point-to-point, therefore there were few destinations offered, and, in turn, passenger enplanements were low.
In 1992, the Airport was designated as an international airport and renamed Panama City-Bay County International Airport. At this time, the Airport was equipped with on-call customs and immigrations facilities provided through the Port of Panama City. In addition, the Airport was also declared a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), a location which allows special customs procedures to be used. These procedures permit domestic activity involving foreign items to take place as though they were outside of a U.S. Customs territory.
In 1995, the Airport went through an extensive development program, demolishing their old terminal building and constructing a new facility with six gate areas, two equipped with jetbridges. Additional enhancements to the terminal included concession areas, a passenger hold room, airline ticketing counters and office space, airport administration offices, public and rental car parking lots, and an expanded terminal apron.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006, the airport had 88,059 aircraft operations, an average of 241 per day: 72% general aviation, 13% air taxi (11,080), 10% military and 5% scheduled commercial. At that time there were 160 aircraft based at this airport: 58% single-engine, 18% multi-engine, 9% jet and 15% helicopter.
The Airport also boasts a terminal complete with six gates. Two of the six gates are equipped with jet bridges, eliminating the need for air stairs for jet aircraft. Currently the six gates are assigned as follows: