December 2, 2015
Julie M. Lucas
NAS Jacksonville Public Affairs Office
Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) has completed nearly six months of operations at Cecil Airport as a result of the runway construction project currently underway.
While conducting operations at Cecil Airport, NAS Jax military air traffic controllers have handled more than 2,800 landings and take offs.
Also, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) passenger terminal has supported 165 flights, screened/handled nearly 5,000 passengers, moved almost 3 million pounds of cargo with- out incident.
“My expectations for the successes at Cecil Airport have so far been exceeded,” said NAS Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Howard Wanamaker.
“I’m proud of the way we have maintained our mission, while operating at a civilian airport. Undoubtedly, we will continue to work as a partner with the Jacksonville Airport Authority and Cecil Airport while we reach our goals together to ensure the Navy’s mission is met safely.”
The personnel currently working in the air traffic control tower conduct night operations based on the needs of the Navy, in concert with Cecil Airport operational requirements.
“It is a great honor to be one of the NAS Jacksonville controllers hand selected to be the first group ever in U.S. naval history to work a civilian airport side by side with civilian contract controllers,” said AC2 William Wilbanks.
The Navy controllers perform equipment checks, monitor and direct aircraft and vehicle movement on the airfield. Another one of their duties is providing taxi instructions to aircraft on the ground in preparation for departure and coordinate with other ATC facilities in the area to ensure the safety of all aircraft traveling within the national airspace system.
“There is never a dull moment when performing the duties as a local controller in the tower,” said AC2 Vladimir Kurenyshev. “The traffic flow is different every night and presents great challenges that keeps you on your toes.”
The air traffic controlmen have said one of the biggest differences about working at Cecil Airport is the variety of aircraft they deal with daily and the different kinds of navigation approaches that are conducted. In every duty, the ACs ensure safety is observed, which has led to their success.
“My favorite part of my job is making sure aircraft and their passengers arrive safely,” said AC2 Ryen Fondriest.