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New Airport Prepares for Federal Tests
01/15/10 - 05:43 PM
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Kevin Character - bio
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click for larger image Bay County, Fla:

The new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is preparing for the arrival of the Federal Aviation Administration. The time is at hand for important tests for the facility.

Airport program manager Jeff Dealy says the site work is about 95 percent complete. The terminal building is about 80 percent finished.

Dealy says several projects are keeping crews busy including extending the runway. Wednesday construction crews finished adding about 16 hundred feet to the runway, making it about ten thousand feet long.  Crews are clearing the new space now, just in time for the FAA flight check next Wednesday.

Construction crews are installing a glide slope and a localizer to help planes land onto the runway. If they don’t install these components before Wednesday, the FAA could delay the entire project by two months.

The transportation security administration is on its way too. Original plans for the airport didn’t include TSA’s new full body imaging system, but managers did reconsider.

“We did make a change for TSA to make room for a whole body imaging machine in the future, Dealy said. “There’s not a plan for that right now, but we did allow for the space. We’ve got a good team that works together out here when an issue comes up.”

Construction crews are finishing smaller projects like surfacing all the taxiways. Dealy says training for new airport staff will begin in just a few months.

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