Mayor John Peyton joined members of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) and the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC) today to celebrate Cecil Field and Cecil Commerce Center's 10-year anniversary.
It was a decade ago, in October 1999, when the U.S. Navy formally handed over ownership of the sprawling Cecil Field Naval Air Station to the City of Jacksonville and the JAA as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations.
The JAA owns and manages the 6,000-acre airport portion of Cecil Commerce Center, which includes three, 8,000-foot runways, one 12,500-foot runway and 1.4 million square feet of aircraft hangar and office space. Today, Cecil Field has 11 mostly aviation-related tenants that together employ about 3,000 personnel.
In addition, the JEDC serves as the master developer and property manager for over 4,800 acres ideal for manufacturing and distribution centers. The soon-to-open first segment of the new, regional I-495 outer beltway, also known as the Cecil Commerce Center Parkway, will greatly enhance access and transportation entry to Cecil. The new interchange will accommodate more than 33,000 vehicles per day.
“During the past decade, Cecil has been transformed from a master jet base to a burgeoning intermodal logistics hub, home to a number of manufacturing, transportation and aviation-related industries,” said Mayor John Peyton. “With recent successes including SAFT America's commitment to build a battery manufacturing facility here, Cecil has and will continue to be a major asset for the city.”
“It has taken a tremendous amount of hard work over the past decade to develop Cecil Field into a commercial aviation maintenance and repair hub,” said JAA Chairman Ron Weaver. “I am proud of the job the JAA has done. Great strides have been made but the best is yet to come.”
Joining Peyton and Weaver in delivering comments were Daniel Davis, Jacksonville City Council Chair of the Seaport and Airport Special Committee, Dr. Steve Wallace, President of Florida State College at Jacksonville, Phil Voss, Chief Corporate Development Officer for LSI, Don Davis, Director, Business Development for The Boeing Company, and Steve Grossman, JAA Executive Director/CEO.
Milestones including the acquisition of multiple tenants were celebrated. Cecil tenants include
The Boeing Company, Flightstar Aircraft Services, Northrop Grumman, CDI, General Dynamics, Fleet Readiness Center Southeast, LSI, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida Army National Guard, Woods Group Pratt & Whitney, L-3 Communications –Titan Group, Department of Homeland Security - U.S. Coast Guard, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville JetPort and Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Protection.
Today's celebration wasn't all about the past. The ceremony ended as Florida State College at Jacksonville and JAA broke ground on an Aircraft Services Educational Facility. The 104,000-square-foot aircraft painting facility will consist of one hangar bay capable of housing an aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 767 and two hangar bays capable of housing a Boeing 757 size aircraft in addition to shop, office, and other space set aside for the educational component.
The $20 million complex is being funded by JAA and Florida State College at Jacksonville and will provide about 200 new jobs when it opens in the fall of 2010. Flightstar Aircraft Services, a current tenant at Cecil, will operate the facility.
In addition, the JAA will be celebrating the near completion of a new 22,500 square-foot aircraft hangar. This hangar will be the third new hangar built at Cecil Field since the JAA took ownership of the facility 10 years ago.
With easy access to air and rail connections and a deepwater port, Cecil Field's facilities are ideally suited for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations and a variety of aviation-related industrial and commercial development.
Cecil Field provides an effective base of operations for corporate aircraft, general aviation, air cargo and governmental aviation activity.
The airport assets include four runways with full length parallel taxiways, 40 major buildings totaling 1.5 million square feet including hangar, warehouse, industrial and general-use space, and 537,000 square yards of aircraft parking apron.
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