The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) has begun construction on a new air traffic control tower and spaceport operations center at Cecil Airport, with completion projected in early 2021.
“The construction of our new control tower and operations center marks an exciting new development as we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the transition from NAS Cecil Field to Cecil Airport later this year,” said JAA chief executive officer Mark VanLoh. “We look forward to providing an outstanding new facility to serve the industry leaders who operate at Cecil and advance our region’s reputation for world-class aviation and aerospace opportunities.”
With a total cost of $8.9 million, the new tower will be funded by JAA and matching Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida funding. The contractor, Walbridge Southeast LLC, has begun digging for utilities at the future base of the tower.
The current tower’s view of the airport is partially obstructed by newer hangars, but in the new tower, air traffic controllers will have unimpeded views of all 6,000 acres, including the new Fire Station 63. The current tower will be removed once the new tower is operational.
In addition to the new air traffic control tower, the spaceport operation center and mission control will house telemetry and weather monitoring equipment to support Cecil Spaceport. Cecil Spaceport is the first FAA-licensed horizontal launch commercial spaceport on the East Coast and only the eighth to be licensed in the United States.
JAA plans a commissioning ceremony which will be open to the public near the completion of the project. More details will become available as the ceremony approaches.