CRESTVIEW — Bob Sikes Airport’s fixed base operator anticipates breaking ground on an estimated $600,000 terminal by April. Jonathan Dunn, Emerald Coast Aviation’s president, said his company recently sent the project out to bid.
The terminal, designed by Fort Walton Beach’s DC Architects, will replace a small facility that Emerald Coast Aviation and Sunshine Aero, its predecessor, have used for decades.
The 5,600-square-foot, single-story building will house a reception area, offices for Dunn and his staff, a lounge with a fireplace, a pilots' "snooze room" with shower, a conference room and an outdoor enclosed courtyard overlooking the airport.
"I remember, as a child, how I got involved in aviation was my parents took me to the local airport," Dunn said during a Feb. 28 Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Airport Committee meeting. "It would be nice to have families out there to see the airplanes take off and land and get involved in our airport."
While the terminal will offer vistas across the airport from large windows and a bright, open-plan design, one feature Dunn had hoped to incorporate into the design was omitted: a restaurant. Demographics currently don’t support the likelihood of attracting patrons to an airport eatery, but the option could be available later, he said.
Okaloosa County Airports’ user fees will fund paving the planned terminal's parking area; Emerald Coast Aviation will fund the building’s construction. No county taxpayer dollars will be used in either project, airports business development manager Mike Stenson said.
The project can be completed in five or six months after groundbreaking, Dunn said.
The Ward family allowed Dunn’s company to demolish its hangar to accommodate the new terminal. Emerald Coast Aviation will house the Wards’ aircraft in its own hangar in exchange, Dunn said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.