Panama City-Bay County Airport Relocation and Expansion

Everybody knows how difficult moving is. But try relocating an entire airport – that’s what IMG Rebel did in Florida.

It was time to move to a bigger space
Panama City-Bay County International Airport needed to grow to meet their current and future demand. But this expansion was impossible at their 700-acre site, so it was time to move elsewhere. The airport proposed moving to a new 5,000 acre location and retained IMG Rebel to perform the required financial and air service marketing advisory from the onset of the project until its opening date. This $306 million airport project was innovative and the first of its kind in in the U.S. in more than a decade.

IMG Rebel’s financial plan aimed to maintain our client’s ompetitiveness
We developed an innovative financial plan with over a dozen public and private funding sources. The purpose of this plan was to find a balance between grants, revenues, property disposition, and private donations to maintain a competitive cost per enplaned passenger.

Our modeling skills were put to good use by building a sophisticated financial feasibility model that assumed approximately 200,000 enplaned passengers while maintaining competitive airline rates and charges. This analysis helped the airport secure $72 million in discretionary FAA funds, over $120 million in Florida Department of Transportation grants, and $45 million in State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) loans. IMG Rebel also assisted with the rates and charges negotiations.

We secured an award-winning private funding
In addition, we facilitated agreements to provide over $96 million in private funding in the form of the donation of 14,000 acres of property for the new airport and the sale of the 700-acre existing airport property to a developer. In a transaction selected by The Bond Buyer as its "2008 Southeast Deal of the Year," IMG Rebel led the process of achieving financial close in December 2007 on an $80 million commercial paper program and $45 million of SIB loans.

Construction of the new airport site began in January 2008 and was completed on time in May 2010, opening with new service from Southwest Airlines.