The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) has begun a year-long celebration in recognition of ten years of independence from the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT).
The airport authority, which operates Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (JAXEX), Herlong Recreational Airport, and Cecil Airport, separated from JAXPORT in 2001.
Last year alone, the four airports had a $2.9 billion impact on the local economy and supported more than 29,000 aviation-related jobs.
Chester Aikens, chair of JAA, said:
“Over the past decade we have continually adapted to changing economic and aviation industry challenges.
“Today is a day for us to look back and reflect on all of the authority's significant accomplishments, and at the same time look ahead to the many opportunities that await us.”
According to Aikens, since 2001, Jacksonville International Airport has been transformed from “an outdated terminal to a world-class facility”.
In addition to the upgrades and advancements at JAX, over the ten years JAA has also redeveloped Cecil Airport from an old naval-air station into the “industrial-type airport” and newly licensed spaceport that it is today.
Steve Grossman, CEO at JAA, said: “We've grown tremendously as an organisation over the past decade.
“Since our separation from JAXPORT, we have had to manage challenges that came with adapting to operations in a post- 9/11 world as well as overcome obstacles from a weakened economy.
“We viewed these events as opportunities to succeed and show what JAA is capable of. We have exciting plans to continue to grow and expand for the future.”
JAA is planning the construction of a third concourse at Jackson International Airport to handle expected passenger growth, and at Cecil Airport there are also plans to add more hangars and office space and develop the north side of the main runway.