JAA to Reflect on Past Decade’s Changes and Successes as Independent Entity
Oct. 24, 2011 – The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) is pleased to announce the beginning of a year-long celebration of its 10-year anniversary as an independent agency since the separation from Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) in 2001.
“Over the past decade we have continually adapted to changing economic and aviation industry challenges,” said JAA Chair Chester Aikens. “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.”
The JAA’s four-airport aviation system is comprised of Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (JAXEX), Herlong Recreational Airport, and Cecil Airport. Together, these four community assets are economic engines for the entire region.
Last year alone, the four airports had an approximate $2.9 billion impact on the local economy and supported more than 29,000 aviation-related jobs. JAA also underwent a major rebranding campaign in 2010 to feature a new logo for all four airports and a name change for JAXEX (formerly known as Craig Airport). These changes were implemented to better represent the different airports as one diverse system and to better reflect the role of JAXEX in the four-airport system since it largely provides services to business travelers.
Jacksonville International Airport, which is the gateway to the Northeast Florida for many travelers, has been transformed from an outdated terminal to a world-class facility that offers an array of amenities including: free Wi-Fi, convenient and economical parking options, an award-winning public art program, live music, on-site rental cars, a free courtesy waiting lot for those picking up passengers and a wide variety of shopping and dining options to travelers. New programs such as the Preferred Passenger Lane for frequent flyers and JAX Passport for frequent parkers were also put into effect at JAX.
In addition to the upgrades and advancements at JAX, JAA has also put in enormous efforts at Cecil Airport to redevelop the airport from an old naval-air station into the fully functioning industrial-type airport and newly licensed spaceport that it is today.
“We’ve grown tremendously as an organization over the past decade,” said JAA Executive Director and CEO, Steve Grossman. “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.”
Future plans include continued upgrades JAX such as the eventual construction of a third concourse to handle expected passenger growth. At Cecil Airport there are also extensive expansion plans to add more hangars and office space and develop the north side of the main runway.