- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

WEST BAY, Fla. (AP) - Officials have put plans for a $17 million crosswind runway at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport near Panama City Beach due to financial constraints.

The Airport Authority agreed Wednesday that going ahead with the federally approved runway project would jeopardize the airport’s financial status. The airport authority would be on the hook for $2 to $3 million to build the runway.

The News Herald of Panama City (http://bit.ly/1iDbl1Y ) reports the crosswind runway would provide better wind coverage for small planes. The current runway doesn’t meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s wind coverage requirement for smaller aircraft.

Airport officials say year-to-date flights are down more than 12 percent over the same period last year. February flights were down 15 percent from last February. Officials blame frigid weather and seasonal airline flight adjustments.

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Information from: The (Panama City, Fla.) News Herald, http://www.newsherald.com