In 2012, we completed a $5.2 million terminal concourse expansion. In doing this, 5,500 square feet of second-level passenger holding rooms and boarding areas were added. There were also two new aircraft parking positions established, capable of accommodating the largest commercial wide-body aircraft in operation. Incidentally, with our two runways at 10,000 and 12,000 feet, we can handle any aircraft in operation – anywhere.
We want to tell you how we provide the convenience you expect and the low fares you deserve. This would be a great opportunity for us to tell you about our awards for excellence in customer service, or how our location makes it easy for travelers to get to and from VPS, making us the best airport choice for people from east of Panama City to west of Pensacola. But we’re not going to do that. We’ll just touch on a few, more tangible, things we did in 2012 to make the Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) your airport.
Not to have the lower concourse outdone by the upper, an additional 4,000 square feet on the main level now facilitates administrative and training space needed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Also on the main level, a new 2,300 square foot restaurant serving both the secure and general operation sides of the airport was opened. The $325,000 project makes use of space previously underutilized as storage.
Much of the available parking at VPS has been resurfaced and improved as well. Both short and long-term lots were given an update to increase traffic flow, pedestrian safety and security in general. The $2.6 million project will be completed early this year (2013).
Also in 2012, the Airport Police at VPS began. Previously, we had employed members of the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Department to provide security at the airport, but in February, led by Chief Melvin Tennyson and Sergeant Richard Noiseux, the division established formal procedures and mandated law enforcement at all three Okaloosa airport locations. These officers ensure the highest standards of safety are met 24/7/365.
All of these projects were – or are expected to be – completed on time and under budget. We are doing more for you every day. Come in and see what we’re doing now.