March 4, 2008
11th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules against Airport Opponents
The Panama City - Bay County International Airport and Industrial District (Airport Authority) announced today that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied a motion by the National Resources Defense Council for an injunction to halt construction at the new Panama City-Bay County International Airport. The new airport is being built on a 4,000-acre site in northwestern Bay County on land that was donated by The St. Joe Company JOE.
Airport Authority Chairman Joe Tannehill said, "Construction is proceeding unrestricted, on schedule, and in accordance with our permits."
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) had requested an injunction to halt construction of the new airport from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta after U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Timothy J. Corrigan, denied a preliminary injunction to halt construction. In January 2008, in a separate suit brought by airport opponents, including the NRDC, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City issued a ruling that allowed construction to proceed.
The NRDC, Citizens for the Bay, and Defenders of Wildlife had joined Florida Clean Water Network in the latest lawsuit to halt construction. The ruling by the 11th Circuit marks the sixth consecutive ruling by three different courts allowing construction to proceed.
"Three different courts have issued six consecutive rulings in two different cases each allowing construction to go forward," said Airport Authority Vice Chairman Bill Cramer. "The Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Airport Authority have followed a methodical, fact-driven process from the day we began considering airport relocation."
"It's taken hard work from dozens of local, state and federal agencies to get to this point. Now, with construction continuing on schedule, we fully expect to open our new airport in 2010," said Tannehill. "We look forward to delivering air service improvements at lower costs, economic development and environmental benefits of this project to this region's residents and visitors alike," said Tannehill.
Article provided by Beach Properties of Florida Agent Tommy Brantley