Keeping the “Pensacola” in PNS

One of the things we are most proud of here at PNS is that we welcome visitors to the Gulf Coast–every single day. We also support some of the wonderful causes and events here in Pensacola, and we’d like to share a few with you. 


More than a decade ago, a handful of local media and film enthusiasts came up with an idea to host a sci-fi convention–known as a “con”– here in Pensacola. This con would focus on science fiction, fantasy, comics, and pop culture. That first event, dubbed “Pensacon,” kicked off in February 2014 and drew an estimated 11,000 attendees.

Fast-forward to 2024, where Pensacon expects to host 35,000 attendees. In addition, this year’s lineup of guests from across the galaxies of stage, page, and screen totals more than 100 actors, writers, illustrators, directors, producers, voice talents, and makeup artists. These guests include everyone from famous actors you will definitely know to animators and makeup artists whose names you’ve never heard, but whose work you will instantly recognize. 

But Penascon is more than just a celebration of sci-fi, pop culture, and cosplay (short for “costume play”). This convention is also an economic powerhouse, generating $3.8 million in economic impact in 2023 and a cumulative $28 million in economic impact since the 2014 inaugural event. 

We’re proud to support this unique and exciting event, and you’ll see some of your favorite sci-fi characters adorning the walls and columns at PNS. Mayor D.C. Reeves, in keeping with tradition, recently renamed the airport “Pensacola Intergalactic Airport” for the month of February, and our boarding gates are now known as “Stargates.” Hopefully, you enjoy these additions to the airport, er, spaceport, just like we do! 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Visit PNS

Most of the thousands of people we host at PNS daily are either visitors to the Gulf Coast or travelers from the Pensacola area. In addition, the airport and businesses located here employ an additional 2,000 people who come to work each day.

Now and then, we get to host groups that want to learn more about the airport, and we were fortunate enough to do that earlier this month with the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Northwest Florida. As part of the BBBS “Beyond School Walls” program, eleven students from Pensacola High School were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the airport. 

The students were able to get up close and personal with aircraft, watch the luggage trucks and ramps in operation, view the inside of the PNS operations center, and learn about the wide variety of jobs required to keep the airport moving. 

Feedback from the students indicated that they enjoyed the trip, especially “learning about under the wing” of the plane, “seeing the camera footage in the operations room,” and “learning about the different jobs at the airport.”

We enjoyed sharing a little about what it takes to run an airport with these students, and it sounds like they enjoyed it, too!

Reuniting Families

As a military community, we often host servicemembers traveling to or from their posts along the Gulf Coast. We also frequently see families reunited after long deployments. Recently, we were able to see a father and son after fifty years of separation. 

Milton resident Jim Langdon was stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War. He struck up a relationship with a local woman and had plans to marry her. As the war progressed, Langdon was quickly transferred and lost touch with the woman who was carrying his son. Fifty years later, Langdon and his son were reunited at PNS.

Read more about this touching story and how they came to find each other at the WEAR-TV 3 website. 

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Keeping the “Pensacola” in PNS

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