WEAR - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Name change to Okaloosa airport

In the quest to draw new visitors and new airlines to a destination, it appears a name can mean a lot.

Five years ago, Okaloosa County's Airport changed its name to Northwest Florida Regional Airport. 
The new signs cost 30,000 dollars.
Office materials cost 15,000.   
Marketing and website changes cost 10,000.
Channel Three's Laura Hussey tells us why county leaders are now considering another name change.
Laura Hussey "You might remember when these signs went up about five years ago. Some local leaders felt the previous name, Okaloosa Regional Airport, wasn't making the regional statement that would help attract new airlines"
Nor was it making it clear to travelers that this is the major airport closest to beach towns like Destin and Fort Walton.
It seems the name Northwest Florida Regional Airport may not have solved the problem.

Mark McCarty/Destin Shuttle and Taxi "The main problem is, people don't know about this airport because of some of the designations, because they're coming to Destin"

The county is now conducting a poll, asking people which name captures the airport's location and identity.

Northwest Florida Regional Airport, the current name.
Destin Fort Walton Beach International Airport
Northwest Florida International Airport
Destin-Fort Walton Beach Regional Airport.

Travelers we asked had a strong preference for including the names of cities.
April Sutton/NC "I think Destin-Fort Walton Beach gives you a clear idea of where you're going" 
The last name change cost around 55,000 dollars.
The money came from funds generated at the airport, not from the county's general fund.
One shuttle driver says another change could be well worth the cost.
Mark "I think you're going to have more business coming into the airport, which is going to increase business for the rental cars, for the airlines, and the airport's going to make more income, the county's going to make more income. I think it will be good for everybody"

Laura Hussey "Since the name poll is all about trying to get more visitors to the area, it will be sent to a database of about 400,000 people who have come here before.