Dec. 15, 2016
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJG/WECP) - Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport has recently become a familiar place for pilots who need to land in a hurry.
"The airport is located in a very central location easy to get to," said Executive Director of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Parker McClellan. "It' s really where ever the airplane is to the closest airport, that's where they will land because airlines want the passengers to be as safe as possible."
Since June, three planes that weren't scheduled to land at ECP have had to divert there because of an emergency, most recently was Wednesday.
"It's because of the central location, the length of our runway, and a variety of other reasons," said McClellan.
According to McClellan, those emergency landings were for different reasons. Typically he says it's because of bad weather, technical issues aboard the plane or medical emergencies.
"We work with mutual aid in the community," said McClellan. "And they will back us up depending on the type of incident."
On average, McClellan says it takes his staff at ECP three to four minutes to respond to any of those types of emergency situations.