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  Friday, December 19, 2014    
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Craig airport: A new era begins
2 artists exhibit their work at the airport
Three in the air, one in the nest
Embraer shows off light attack aircraft that could be built in Jacksonville
Company May Bring Jobs To Jacksonville Embraer Facility Could Mean Dozens Of Jobs In Jacksonville
Embraer: Jax facility 'just the beginning'
Cecil Prepares To Launch
JetBlue starts Jax cargo service to Northeast
ASEF dedication gives Aviation students a wing up
JetBlue establishes Jacksonville airport cargo depot
Jet Blue Opens Cargo Facility at JIA
Storms cancel a dozen JIA flights
JetBlue expands services at JIA
New Bus Service Starts for First Coast
Volar sin escalas a San Juan!
Good news at airport
Good News
Dedicated to Jacksonville’s Aviation Future: JAA Exec. Director & CEO Steve Grossman
JIA passengers up more than 2%
JAA lobbies feds to add cost to a round-trip ticket Airlines call the 'facility charge' a tax, but airports say fee is vital.
Flowers for travelers
Tour of Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
JAA made $20.4M in fiscal 2010
Southside Sun Notebook: Student on display at airport
10 Who Make a Difference: Millicent Dangerfield takes on trio of volunteer posts
Jacksonville International Airport starts offering boarding passes at curbside
TSA Retesting Full-Body Scanners Amid Radiation Concerns
Passengers down, flights up at JIA
New hangar to be funded at Cecil Airport
Jacksonville Journal: Pilot tour comes to Craig Airport
SKY BRIDGES - Jacksonville International Airport
Fresh art at Jacksonville International Airport
Non-stop to Puerto Rico
Jacksonville Aviation Authority Unveils New Public Art at JAX
Jacksonville International Airport named one of the most inexpensive airports in the country
JAX a good place to fly cheap
Fitch Rates Jacksonville Airport Bonds
Airports cater to art lovers with intriguing installations
CAP cadets go on 'amazing' ride
New JAA brand at hand
Flowers for moms at Jacksonville International Airport
Business Travelers – And Aviation Queen – Pick Their Favorite Airports
JetBlue flights to Puerto Rico begin Thursday
Aviation industry growing in Jacksonville, despite lack of trained workers Companies planning to expand, add jobs.
JetBlue now offering daily flights from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico JetBlue service taking off today to San Juan, offering a chance to boost tourism
High hopes for San Juan service
JetBlue launches PR flights from JAX
Jet Blue begins Jax to San Juan non-stops
Flight offerings expand
New airline routes launched (17 – 23 May 2011)
Watch video of warplane that could be built in Jacksonville
Jax Chamber, Cornerstone promote aircraft production
Southwest Airlines begins daily nonstop service between Jacksonville and Denver
Southwest adds new Denver routes
Cecil Airport gets state permission to be a spaceport
Cecil Airport designated a Space Territory
VQQ designated ‘Space Territory’
Mayor-elect Brown Highlights Public Safety, Jobs and Education on Westside Tour
JAA courts ‘prime players’
Mica wages war on the TSA
Behind-the-scenes airport tour: DC-3s, military transports and more
New exhibit at JIA to open Friday
2 tax breaks, 1 grant for 205 new jobs
Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Aircraft Painting
Teen Flight: Campers Learn To Soar Students Get Unique Weeklong Experience For Just $20
JAA: FAA shutdown no concern
FAA Director: JIA hurting from furlough
Jacksonville council committee OKs incentive package for companies
Ponte Vedra artists showcase work at airport gallery
Traffic up at Jacksonville International Airport
City Notes-The Financial News & Daily Record
Council approves incentives for Medtronic, KCI Enterprises
Hurricane Irene disrupting flights at JIA
Irene Creates Travel Nightmare At JIA
JIA deal spotlights taxi company president's legal woes
JIA passenger traffic up 4% in July
JIA committee rejects appeal in taxicab contract issue
JAA committee votes against taxicab contract appeal
Since 9/11: Always watching
Small Airports, Planes On Alert This Week
JetBlue flights from JIA to Puerto Rico flying at capacity, but are they profitable?
Security Raised Across Jacksonville
JAA ready to develop forestland to expand Cecil Airport 120 acres for road, larger hangars at former Navy base.
JAA looks at the future of Cecil Airport
Airliner evacuated at JIA after threatening note passed by passenger
Threat Prompts Evacuation, Search Of Jet
Threatening note prompts plane evacuation
Delta Flight from Jacksonville to Atlanta Delayed Due to Threatening Note
Threatening note leads JAX flight to be evacuated
JAA plans study on Cecil air cargo facility
Jacksonville airports CEO gets big raise
Jacksonville Airport CEO Grossman gets $35,000 raise
JAA elects new board chairman
Jacksonville International Airport Manager Gets Big Pay Bump
JIA to hold mock mass casualty event Wednesday Drill designed to simulate aircraft crash to hone skills of responders, staff
JAA to celebrate 10 years as independent entity
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority hits a big milestone
JAA celebrates 10 years as an independent authority
Non-aviation growth eyed by JAA, but more air flights and jobs, too
Baby or Blue Angels?: Performance Postpones Birth
New Internet system tracks Jacksonville airplanes, helps define noise
Cecil spaceport bill advances -- with a major revision
Jacksonville, FL, Aviation Authority Introduces On-Line Flight-Tracking System
JIA to open extra parking lot for Thanksgiving travel
Airport screenings becoming more discrete TSA makes changes to address privacy concerns
Passengers can see same thing now as JIA scanners, but without revealing body images
No more revealing airport security scans
Watching the TSA Watching You
Advanced Imaging Technology New Tool at Jacksonville International Airport
JIA passenger traffic down in October
New flights in spring?
JAA re-numbers runways because of magnetic shift
Jacksonville Offers Frequent Parker Program
JIA runways get makeover thanks to magnetic pull
Shifts in Earth's magnetic field affect JIA runways
JIA Decorated With Over 30 Trees to Benefiting Dreams Come True
Christmas trees at airport benefit Dreams Come True
Workspace: Jacksonville Aviation Authority Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman
New service offers quick access to airport security
Aircraft manufacturer to bring high paying jobs to Jacksonville
JIA's Flex pass will speed up airport wait, for a price
Embraer wins contract to build military planes in Jax
Embraer deal ‘tip of the iceberg’
Priva Launches New ‘flex Pass’ Airport Access Program
Law school official named to Jacksonville Aviation Authority board
Lawsuit puts Jacksonville aircraft order on hold
Embraer deal on hold
Kansas company's lawsuit puts wrench in plans for plane assembly in Jacksonville
Letters from readers: Bring it to Cecil
Former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell Calls for Big Projects, Investment in Jacksonville
Forum: ‘Critical’ need for infrastructure investment
Transportation advocate: Cities like Jacksonville should spend more on infrastructure
Cheers: Acting on Jobs
JAA pumped $29 million into local economy in 2011
KCI Aviation brings new hangar, jobs to Cecil Airport
New business to open shop at Cecil Airport
Rick Scott appoints former Jacksonville undersheriff to JAA board
CNN anchor raves about Jacksonville airport, UNF and city after debate
THE NUMBER: America's Best Airport
JAA gets grant to assess horizontal launches at Cecil Spaceport
American Airlines to lay off 13,000 employees
No danger from suspicious package at Jacksonville airport cargo terminal
Effects of American Airline layoffs unknown for Jacksonville Airport
Florida's Cecil Airport Wins FAA Safety Award
CNN reporter loves JIA
JetBlue's Six Years of Service
Jacksonville International: America's Best Airport?
North Florida hospitality workers honored at awards banquet Tuesday night
Spaceport Moves Step Closer to Reality
Rolling out the red carpet
JAA to host spaceport summit at Cecil Airport
Balfour Beatty wins $2.6M Jacksonville airport project
UNF unveils MLK Jr. statue Life-size King statue first on college campus in Florida
UNF becomes first Florida college campus with MLK statue
Classic airliner offers rides through next week in Jacksonville
Carroll to lobby Air Force for Embraer jobs
Travelers Have Mixed Reactions About Private Screening Companies
1929 Ford Tri-Motor takes First Coast fliers back in time
Good News: Jacksonville residents shines at the Delta Oscars
Jacksonville Aviation Authority holds spaceport summit
Lt. Gov. Carroll: Space industry ‘critical’ for area, state
Clarion could be coming down at airport
JU’s Davis Aviation Center Director discusses workforce training at Cecil Spaceport Development Summit
JAA: Get serious about Cecil Spaceport
Free-spirited St. Augustine 90-year-old woman skydives
Fitch Affirms Jacksonville Aviation Authority, FL's $157MM Revs at 'A'; Outlook Stable
Jacksonville Aviation Authority receives ‘A’ rating from Fitch Ratings
Tourist board wrong place for JAA head, says Council panel
Canstruction® moves to Jacksonville International Airport
Squadron returns to Jacksonville from Afghanistan
LA mayor supports Jacksonville flight, Brown says
KCI Aviation to break ground at Cecil Airport Wednesday
Airports must be protected from intrusion
Airlines consider new routes to boost business
Cecil Airport becomes player in new era of space travel
Scott signs spaceport bill, adding Cecil Airport to Florida’s master plan
Space travel coming closer to Jacksonville
Master plan: Cecil Spaceport could grab market share
Canstruction® moves to Jacksonville International Airport for 2012
Grossman: Air Force contract decision ‘probably after first of the year’
Jax Spaceport becoming a reality
No major incidents with bird strikes at JIA
JIA flyers experience tropical storm delays
Jacksonville adds 3 new weekday flights to Tampa
Silver Airways offers new flights from Tampa to Jacksonville
Florida airports get expedited security lanes
Silver Airways offers new flights connecting Tampa and Jacksonville
3 Jax daily flights to Tampa announced
Jacksonville Journal:Airport economy lots to charge $1 more
Jacksonville JetPort opens new hangar at Cecil Airport
JAA sends $65 million budget to City Council for approval
JAA hires, promotes officers
One of Us: USO airport operations head runs an 'important oasis'
Air show yields hope for new jobs
Spotlight: 9/11 shaped Tony Cugno's focus
For now, runways at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport will not expand
Gov. Rick Scott signs spaceport legislation for Cecil Airport
Governor declares Cecil Field 'Spaceport'
JAA, airlines agreement results in less financial risk
Up, up and away Wings 'n' Wheels at Craig Airport
First Coast Gears: Wings 'N' Wheels at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport
Into the future: airports to tap multi-billion dollar space industry
Upcoming defense expo features national and local companies
First ever First Coast Defense Expo coming this Wednesday
Inaugural First Coast Defense Expo shines light on economic impact of defense contractors
JIA traffic down in September
JAA chief executive did a good job but not getting a bonus
Defense Expo highlights local companies Ander Crenshaw hosts event to bring to light companies affected by defense cuts
Looking ahead: The future of Jacksonville's logistics industry
Grossman receives ‘outstanding’ review at JAA
Travelers at JIA get stranded; locals head north to help neighboring states
Flying out of JIA? Check with your airline first
Grossman sells the success of Cecil
Juice Jackers: How to outsmart smartphone hackers
Jacksonville businesses drop lawsuit to extend Craig runway
Jacksonville airport will open its seasonal economy lot Wednesday with lower parking rate
JAA opens special parking lot for Thanksgiving, offers tips for travel
TSA offers tips to expedite screenings
TSA reminds holiday travelers how to minimize travel time
Top tips from TSA for quickest security checks
Coaching legend Don Shula opening another restaurant in Jacksonville
Shula's opening at JIA
HMSHost unveils sports bar & grill at Jacksonville International Airport
Shula's Bar&Grill Takes Off at JAX Airport
Shula's Bar & Grill opens at Jacksonville International Airport
Southwest, US Airways, JetBlue fight for open D.C. slots
JAA building $27M hangar for FlightStar's 400 job expansion
JAA to build new hangar at Cecil Airport that will create up to 400 new jobs
Expansion at Cecil Airport to add over 300 jobs
JAA approves $27M Flightstar expansion
Jacksonville Aviation Authority to Build $27M Hangar at Cecil
Decision pending for Embraer contract
JAA prepping for Embraer decision with 50 jobs hanging in the balance
Holiday travel picking up at JIA
Jacksonville International estimates almost 10,200 passengers to travel today
Many left stranded at JIA because of post Christmas storm
JIA experiences delays due to winter storm
Cecil Airport to get 49% of Boeing’s $25M F/A-18 repairs
Jacksonville International Airport Boasts Art At Every Turn
Jacksonville recruiting Brunswick aviation firm to Cecil Airport
Aviation company eyes Jax to relocate, create jobs
Jacksonville International has fewer flights, but higher fares
World Golf Village opens kiosk at JIA hoping to lure golfers to complex
Jacksonville gets work for $427M military plane building contract
Air Force awards contract to Jacksonville to build attack support planes Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-02-27/story/air-force-awards-contract-jacksonville-build-attack-support-planes#ixzz2MChAbY5W
Sierra Nevada, Embraer awarded $427M Air Force contract: Jacksonville aircraft plant to create 50 jobs
Air Force contract brings 50 jobs to Jacksonville
Southwest to offer nonstop flights from JIA to Chicago's Midway airport
Southwest will fly nonstop to Chicago's Midway
Control towers at Jacksonville area airports face closure
Area air traffic control towers could close
Delayed landing: Embraer persistence pays off for Jacksonville
Only award-winning airports in the South: Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida
JIA named top five among North American airports in customer service
Budget cuts could close flight towers
Rick Scott: FDOT's $3.5 Million for Flightstar Expansion at Cecil Field a 'Targeted Investment'
Gov. Scott Applauds $3.5 Million FDOT Grant Tt Jacksonville Aviation Authority For Flightstar Expansion
Aircraft company signs 10-year lease at Jacksonville International Airport to build Air Force planes
Flightstar Aircraft Services Plans $30.5 Million Expansion At Jacksonville, Florida’s Cecil Airport
Embraer Signs Jacksonville, FL Airport Lease For A-29 Assembly Facility
Embraer Signs Jacksonville Airport Lease for A-29 Super Tucano Assembly Facility
Federal government spares Cecil Airport and Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport from closure of control towers
Moody's Affirms Jacksonville Airport Bond Rating
Embraer to begin military aircraft production at JIA
Ribbon cutting held for new plane building facility in Jacksonville
Embraer to open new facility at Jacksonville International Airport
Plane maker Embraer opens for business in Jacksonville
Southwest flight from Jax to Chicago to start earlier
City Notes
Florida National Guardsmen return home for Easter
Embraer Signs Jacksonville Airport Lease for A-29 Super Tucano Assembly Facility
Cecil Airport expansion continues as past planning pays off
Cecil Airport preps land for future tenants
Flightstar hangar cost estimates come in high, JAA to pare back design
Memorial day weekend travel tips
Silver Airways to begin flights from JIA to the Bahamas June 15
Silver Airways will bring international flights to Jacksonville International Airport
Airline to offer flights from Jacksonville to Bahamas
Flights from JAX to Bahamas begin in June
Silver to fly Jacksonville–Bahamas
Major projects at Cecil Airport bring jobs and business to city
Tropical storm Andrea believed to be causing flight delays
Fitch Affirms Jacksonville Aviation Authority, FL's $87.3MM Revs at 'A'; Outlook Stable
Runners Prepare to Take Off at Inaugural JAXEX Runway 5K
JAA to host 5K to benefit USO
First annual runway run takes place
Runners step foot on the tarmac for runway race
Jacksonville’s Cecil Airport seeks archery hunters to control deer and turkey
Sunday Business Notebook: New pair of hangars for Cecil Airport
Construction of new airport hanger means hundreds of jobs for Jacksonville
JAA breaks ground on Flightstar hangar
JAA completes 6th new hangar; KCI Aviation to bring 30 jobs
New Cecil hangar to bring 250 jobs to area
Jacksonville Aviation Authority Celebrates New Jobs At Cecil Airport
New celestial mural unveiled at Jacksonville International Airport
New "Celestial Playground" Mural by Artist Amy Cheng At Jacksonville International Airport
Jacksonville airport's art creates first impression of city
Jacksonville International Airport's Arts & Media Day
Arts Notes: New mural unveiled at the Jacksonville International Airport
JAA to hold formal dedication at Jax Executive Airport Ceremony to honor James Craig
JAA Dedicates Pavilion To James Craig
Jacksonville Aviation Authority dedicates pavilion in honor of Navy officer killed in Pearl Harbor
Airport pavilion dedicated in honor of Pearl Harbor victim
City Notes
Viewers donate 5,720 items to USO Positively Jax 'Help on the Home Front' campaign stocks welcome center at JIA
Art plays a role in making air travel through Jacksonville an enjoyable experience
JAA refinances $20 million of bonds, saves $2 million
New security plan for JIA
Gaining altitude with grace and hard work
Consolidation panel to review independent authorities
Embraer says Super Tucano delivery on schedule for 2014
Embraer to open aircraft assembly plant in January
JAA's Rossi reduces debt, seeks profit
City Notes - Davlantes elected JAA board chair
TSA Pre-Check hopes to speed up security at JIA
New program could help negate Jacksonville International Airport security lines
Precheck lands at Jacksonville International Airport, giving some travelers an easier trip through security
Dozens of companies to attend Defense Expo Expo open Wednesday, Thursday at Cecil Airport
Military's Economic Impact on First Coast Showcased at Expo
Memorial to celebrity aviator Bessie Coleman could find home at Jacksonville's airport
Orender's Hampton Golf taking over Mill Cove at Craig Airport
Please return your booze to an upright position: New wine, beer lounge coming to JIA
Cruise business key for JaxPort future
Embraer continues Florida investment, could add 600 more jobs
New Flight School opens at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport
Vino Volo to make Florida debut at Jacksonville Airport
Delta to begin non-stop flights between JAX and Boston
Bathroom Sign At Jacksonville International Airport Makes Us Incredibly Happy
Who would have thought a toilet sign would make us so happy?
Satellites set to launch from Cecil
Cool loos: Airport restroom art draws attention
State grant helps Cecil Spaceport prepare for launch
Satellites to launch from Cecil Spaceport by 2016 1st 'horizonal launch' of small payload to take place within 3 years
Next generation of manufacturing is here at Cecil
Generation Orbit To Launch Small Satellites From Cecil Field in Jacksonville
Dollar votes for best decorated JIA trees benefit Dreams Come True
JIA opens special events lot for holiday travelers
Jackosnville International Airport offering special rate holiday parking beginning Sunday
Cecil Spaceport signs agreement with Atlanta space launch company
First tenant official at Cecil Spaceport
Three Jacksonville facilities awarded multi-million-dollar contracts this week
Jacksonville aviation chief gets 3% pay hike Board cites oustanding (sic) annual performance review
Pioneering pilot Bessie Coleman will be honored if JIA builds a Jacksonville aviation hall of fame
Kids with autism get airport test run: 'Next time the anxiety level will not be so high'
Cecil stakes a claim to space
Food notes: Vino Volo to open at Jacksonville International Airport
Georgia crash puts Arlington residents on edge Advocates still pushing for longer runway at Craig Airport
Jacksonville International Airport sees gun rates triple, but no arrests since 2004
Everybody wins
Wine bar prepares to open at JIA
Wine flights, arriving daily: Vino Volo debuts at JIA
Silver Airways flying between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale
JetBlue adds flights between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale
At-risk youth group graduates inaugural JAXEX High Achievers Program
Gov. Scott signs budget that supports Cecil Spaceport
Cecil Spaceport receives $2 million in state budget
Cecil Spaceport gets $2 million budget boost State budget includes money for infrastructure
WWII vet returns home after trip to Normandy
Spaceport test flight is giant leap for launch facility in Jacksonville Generation Orbit runs test launch
Silver Airways beginning Jacksonville-Fort Lauderdale flights
Silver Airways adds flights from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale
New flights announced between Jacksonville and Washington D.C.
Flightstar adding new hangars, jobs and customers come 2015
Guest column: Cecil Airport is poised to become a player in space industry
New military planes roll out of Jacksonville plant
Fighter plane being built on First Coast debuts
Agencies participate in plane crash drill at JIA
Jacksonville International Airport Conducts An Alert 3 Exercise
Boeing drone moves into production at Cecil Airport
Cecil Spaceport prepares for 2016 launch
Allegiant offers new services to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh
Allegiant Air coming to Jacksonville International Airport
Allegiant landing in Jacksonville
Cecil Spaceport seeks to renew operating license, improve infrastructure
After spacecraft explosion, caution — but no fears — at Cecil Spaceport
Jacksonville International Airport offers special parking deal for Thanksgiving
New hangar opens, brings 300 jobs to Cecil Airport
250 aviation jobs coming to Jacksonville
Cecil Airport opens new hangar, its biggest constructed to date
Largest hangar ever built at Cecil opens its doors
JAA Celebrates New Hangar at Cecil Airport
City Notes - Cecil Airport opening new hangar
New hangar brings jobs
Airport has discount holiday parking
Southwest to fly from JAX to Denver
Disabled Fliers Voice Security Concerns
Flat Fee for Airport Parking over Thanksgiving Holiday
Delta will add four nonstop flights to Miami
Jacksonville Aviation Authority unveils new logo, airport names
JIA passenger numbers up 1% in October
JAA rebrands itself with new logos, names
Authority hopes Jacksonville airports' re-branding will take off with travelers
More travelers, workers expected at JIA for holidays
Jacksonville Unveils New Branding Campaign
TSA Protest No Disruption To JIA Travel
Embrarer seeks incentives to build planes
Scott touts Jacksonville as area of opportunity
Rick Scott's jobs tour has a public and private face
Gov.-Elect Talks Jobs At Town Meeting
Gov.-elect Scott visits Jacksonville, sees job-creating potential
Incentives approved for Embraer
Attack aircraft maker seeks incentives
JIA Offers Special Deals This Season Holiday Parking Specials
American Eagle adds 2 flights to Miami
JIA passenger tally up 8% in November
JIA offers flat parking fee for holiday
Passenger, cargo traffic up at JIA
City of Jacksonville auditors question JAA spending, authority
JIA 1 Of Best Airports To Be Stranded In
JIA's art gallery gets international nod
JIA passengers up 3% in December
JAA to put Craig back into Arlington airport's name
Craig name preserved for Jacksonville airport; but so is distrust of Arlington residents
In-House Police Retained & Reorganized at Jacksonville Int’l
Finance approves Embraer jobs
Arlington airport renamed again; will now be Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport
JIA adjusts parking rates in push for more customers
JAA retains Craig in name, New name: Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport
Parking rates changing at Jax airport
A good sign that Embraer is coming
Jacksonville airport traffic grows with added flights
Business lifts at Craig, Cecil airports
Craig Airport Renamed Again; 'Jacksonville Executive at Craig'
New roads could give Jacksonville's Northside a boost A trust fund would be used to steer city funds for the airport region.
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Current Feature Stories

New hangar brings jobs - 12/5/2014

Dec. 03, 2014 

Video report: http://ow.ly/FrgPZ

City Notes - Cecil Airport opening new hangar - 12/4/2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning to officially open Hangar 935 at Cecil Airport, the largest single hangar construction to date at the facility.
Representatives from the authority and Flightstar Aircraft Services will be on hand, as will city and state officials.
The $27 million hangar broke ground in June 2013. The authority will lease the land and hangar to Flightstar for commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

Source: http://ow.ly/FlMKs 

JAA Celebrates New Hangar at Cecil Airport - 12/4/2014

December 3, 2014
Source: Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA)

Today the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) celebrates the official opening of hangar 935, the largest single hangar construction at Cecil Airport to date. Flightstar Aircraft Services (Flightstar) will occupy the new facility, creating an additional 250-300 jobs. 
Flightstar, headquartered at Cecil Airport, is a leading provider of heavy maintenance and repair services to the commercial aviation industry. 
"We're thrilled that Flightstar is continuing to grow its business here at Cecil Airport," said JAA CEO and Executive Director Steve Grossman. "The JAA has invested a great deal over the last two decades to improve the infrastructure and facilities at Cecil Airport. The result is that companies like Flightstar can continue to expand and be successful - a win for both the business and our community."
The 113,000-square-foot hangar cost approximately $27.5 million and was financed equally by the JAA and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Flighstar will utilize hangar 935, along with 17,000-square-feet of support space, for commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). Three hundred parking spaces also accompany the hangar. 
The project was completed on-time and construction and engineering services were provided by Balfour Beatty Construction and Michael Baker International.

 "Flightstar is proud to call Cecil Airport home," said Flightstar President and CEO Jerry Hernandez. "Hangar 935 will help us continue our efforts to be the global supplier of choice for outsourced heavy aviation maintenance and passenger-to-freighter conversions. We're grateful to JAA and FDOT for their partnership on this project."
Founded in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2000, Flightstar also leases two additional MRO hangars at Cecil Airport. Together, the three hangar spaces represent more than 450,000-square-feet, and over 1,100 jobs.

For more information about Flightstar, visit http://www.flightstarjax.com.
For more information about JAA, visit www.flyjacksonville.com. 
For more information about Cecil Airport, visit www.cecilairport.com.

Source: http://ow.ly/FlLsV 

Largest hangar ever built at Cecil opens its doors - 12/4/2014

Dec 3, 2014
Jensen Werley, Reporter
Jacksonville Business Journal

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is celebrating the grand opening of Flightstar Aircraft Services' new hangar, an addition that should bring 250 to 300 jobs to Flightstar and Cecil Airport.

The 113,000-square-foot hangar is the largest single hangar construction at Cecil Airport to date, according to a statement. The facility cost approximately $27.5 million and was financed equally by the JAA and Florida Department of Transportation.

"We're thrilled that Flightstar is continuing to grow its business here at Cecil Airport," JAA CEO and Executive Director Steve Grossman said in a statement. "The JAA has invested a great deal over the last two decades to improve the infrastructure and facilities at Cecil Airport. The result is that companies like Flightstar can continue to expand and be successful – a win for both the business and our community."

Flightstar will use the new hangar, no. 935, as well as 17,000 additional square feet of support space for its business: aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

The company leases two other hangars at Cecil Airport, using more than 45,000 square feet and employing more than 1,100 workers.

Flightstar was founded in Jacksonville in 2000.

Source: http://ow.ly/FlKMR

Cecil Airport opens new hangar, its biggest constructed to date - 12/4/2014

Dec 3, 2014
Richard Webner

Flightstar Aircraft Services, which will occupy the new hangar, says the facility will allow it to add 250 to 300 jobs

Cecil Airport opened a new hangar Tuesday to be leased by Flightstar Aircraft Services, which says the facility will allow it to create about 250 jobs.
The 113,000-square-foot hangar is the largest that has been built at Cecil, according to a news release from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. It cost about $27.5 million, split evenly between the authority and the Florida Department of Transportation.
The new jobs, which will be formed over the next 12 to 18 months, will include about 200 mechanics and technicians and 50 support personnel, including managers, engineers and delivery workers, said Chris Long, a business development executive at Flightstar.
Flightstar, a Jacksonville-based company that provides maintenance and repair for commercial aircraft, already leases two hangars at Cecil Airport and has more than 1,100 employees, according to the news release.
“The JAA has invested a great deal over the last two decades to improve the infrastructure and facilities at Cecil Airport,” said Steve Grossman, the authority’s CEO and executive director. “The result is that companies like Flightstar can continue to expand and be successful.”
Richard Webner: (904) 359-4370

Source:  http://ow.ly/FlKfl 

250 aviation jobs coming to Jacksonville - 12/4/2014

Dec 3, 2014

Hundreds of aviation jobs are coming to Jacksonville. Mayor Alvin Brown joined the company Flightstar and the Aviation Authority to make the announcement Wednesday at Cecil Airport.

Flightstar is hiring 250 employees to do modification work on an aircraft in the brand-new 113,000 square foot hanger.

"These are good-paying high-skill jobs. Exactly the kind of jobs we want to continue to Jacksonville to improve our economy," said Brown.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the river city's unemployment rate shrank from 6.6 in August to 5.8 in September. 

Frank Mackesy with the Aviation Authority said the people being put to work aren't the only ones who will see a change.

"The economic impact of the airport to our local regional community is about $3 billion a year," said Mackesy. 

Flightstar hopes to have the positions filled by next year. If you're looking for work, contact its HR department or head to its website.

Source:  http://ow.ly/FlJDn

New hangar opens, brings 300 jobs to Cecil Airport - 12/4/2014

Dec 03 2014
Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter

A new hangar opened at Cecil Airport on Wednesday, and that means 300 new jobs for Jacksonville.

"We are the aviation Mecca in this region, and anytime you can create 250 to 300 jobs, that's a great thing for Jacksonville," said Rusty Chandler, chief of the airport.

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority officially opened hangar 935, the largest at the airport.

Flightstar, a leading provider of heavy maintenance and repair services to the commercial aviation industry, will work out of the new hanger.

"We are going to be doing the aircraft maintenance on the airframe mean, structural and interior cabin modifications to 737s, 757s and other narrow body equipment," said Tucker Morrison, Flightstar chief operating officer.

The 113,000-square-foot hangar cost about $27.5 million and was financed equally by the JAA and Florida Department of Transportation.

Flighstar will utilize hangar 935, along with 17,000-square-feet of support space for commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

Three-hundred parking spaces also accompany the hangar.

It will also help Flightstar take passenger planes, gut them and make them into cargo planes.

This is now the third facility at Cecil Airport, bringing the number of jobs there to 1,100.

"It will allow us to grow about 30 percent over our current footprint, the front here at the airport," Chandler said.

The jobs available will range in pay from minimum wage to $35 an hour. If you have interest in applying, go to www.flightstarjax.com.

Source: http://ow.ly/FlJby

Jacksonville International Airport offers special parking deal for Thanksgiving - 11/24/2014

Nov 24, 2014

Jensen Werley
Reporter-Jacksonville Business Journal

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is offering a special deal for travelers this Thanksgiving holiday.
The Economy Lot 3 at Jacksonville International Airport will be open Nov. 26 through Dec. 2 with parking charged at a flat $20.

The lot will be first-come, first-serve, and there will be a free shuttle service available through Dec. 2. Any cars left after that date may be towed.

The other economy lots are $5 per day.

Jensen covers logistics, manufacturing and defense

Source: http://ow.ly/EOShL

After spacecraft explosion, caution — but no fears — at Cecil Spaceport - 11/13/2014

Nov 10, 2014
Jensen Werley, Reporter
Jacksonville Business Journal

Advocates of Cecil Spaceport said they're not worried that a deadly accident — like the recent crash in the Mojave Desert by Virgin Galactic— could happen in Jacksonville.

But Cecil Airport Manager Rusty Chandler said he feels the occurrence will have an effect on the growth of the local space station.

"Anytime you have an accident like that in an emerging business that hasn't really proven itself yet — and horizontal activity really hasn't proven itself — you will have an impact," Chandler said.

The industry as a whole will be even more cautious to prevent any repeats, which could lead to more more certifications for vehicles and additional training.

The Chief Operating Officer of Generation Orbit— Cecil Spaceport's primary tenant — said that an accident like Virgin's makes everyone extra cautious, although the company has alway been safety minded.

"Any time something like that happens, you go back and review what you're doing," COO A.J. Piplica said. "We're pretty pleased with the processes we have in place. We don't see major changes happening with that."

The launches Generation Orbit is planning are fairly different from those of Virgin Galactic.

Generation Orbit technology launches a pod from a Gulfstream airplane. Although the plane itself has a pilot, the pod is unmanned and is launched over water rather than land, occurring about 40,000 feet in the air, hundreds of nautical miles off shore, Piplica said.

What is more, Chandler added that the mission itself is completely different.

"Generation Orbit is focused on putting something into lower orbit," Chandler said, "while the goal of the Mojave is to go onto the edge of space atmosphere and encounter weightlessness for about 5 to 10 minutes, then return."

Piplica said that its two vehicles, the GOLaunchers 1 and 2, are for Air Force research and for launching commercial satellites into lower orbit. The earliest flights in Jacksonville won't begin until 2016 and 2017.

Overall, Chandler said the operation occurring at Cecil Field is less risky than the one in California.

While its possible manned flights into space could be certified in Jacksonville eventually, there is a special certification process the spaceport would have to go through. While an airport can be certified by the FAA or the state and then any airline or flight can operate at that airport, said Chandler, a spaceport has more stringent guidelines. To fly into space, he said, the spaceport, operator, vehicle and particular flight path must all be certified.

"If they did come here," Chandler said, "they'd have to go through an extensive certification process. It's a long way off."

Jensen covers logistics, manufacturing and defense

Source: http://ow.ly/Ee81G

Cecil Spaceport seeks to renew operating license, improve infrastructure - 11/13/2014

Nov 12, 2014
Jensen Werley, Reporter
Jacksonville Business Journal

Cecil Spaceport is looking to renew its license, which is due to expire in January, for another five years, said Rusty Chandler, chief of Cecil Airport.

One change the airport will seek in the renewal: the ability to keep the airport side of things operating while activity is happening at the spaceport.

Now, the airport runway has to shut down if a rocket is going to be launched during the period between the oxidation of the rocket fuel and actual lift off. The renewed lease will limit any impacts on regular aviation.

Meanwhile, state grants are enabling the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to improve the infrastructure at the site. Two grants were received, the first being $2 million from the state budget for spaceport infrastructure. The second will be received soon, a $1 million grant from Space Florida.

The money will be used to open up the east side of the runway with a taxiway connector and ramp area, with construction beginning next year. The east side site will be tucked away and used predominantly for spacecraft, to eliminate any negative impacts on the regular airport. The connector and ramp will allow easier access to the area.

"If we did that on the developed side of the airport, it may impact a tenant," Chandler said. "We strategically located it in an area that won't impact anyone in the future, but we can gain access at anytime. We don't want to impact regular aviation, but we want to integrate them at the same time."

A hangar on the west side that's under construction can be used as an interim storage space to store spacecraft. Chandler said Cecil Airport is working with their fixed-base operator Jetport on the hangar, which will have room to accommodate space vehicles in the short term, and will eventually be moved to the east side of the property.

Jensen covers logistics, manufacturing and defense

Source: http://ow.ly/Ee72p

Allegiant landing in Jacksonville - 11/12/2014

Nov 12, 2014

Alexa Epitropoulos
Digital Producer-
Jacksonville Business Journal

Allegiant is heading to Jacksonville International Airport, offering non-stop flights from Jacksonville to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh early next year.

The flights will begin in spring of 2015, with twice-weekly flights to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh debuting Feb. 12 and Feb. 13, 2015.

Jacksonville is Allegiant's sixth destination in Florida, after Orlando, Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach. The airline decided to come to Jacksonville after realizing the markets between Jacksonville and Cincinnati and Pittsburgh were underserved.

"We're always looking for new markets and we saw a lot of demand here," Thyne Klinger, the manager of airforce at Allegiant, told the Business Journal.

Allegiant, based in Las Vegas, currently offers flights to 90 destinations in the U.S. Klinger saw a warm reception to debuting in Jacksonville and says Allegiant hopes to expand even more in the coming years.

"We'll see how these first flights go. They have to be profitable," Klinger said.

Source:  http://ow.ly/Eb4WI

Allegiant Air coming to Jacksonville International Airport - 11/12/2014

November 12, 2014
Lisa Robbins, First Coast News

Allegiant Air made the announcement early Wednesday morning.

A new airline is coming to Jacksonville International Airport and will offer non-stop jet service from Jacksonville to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Allegiant Air made the announcement early Wednesday morning.

The company will offer one-way fares as low as $65 in celebration of the airline's debut in Jacksonville.

Allegiant is also offering local travelers the chance to win free Allegiant flights for an entire year. The winner and a friend will have the chance to fly free from JIA once a month for a year.

"We are very excited to bring our unique brand of travel to Jacksonville, Fla. and are glad to offer the Jacksonville community non-stop flights to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh," said Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company Senior Vice President of Planning.

The new flights will operate twice a week. To take advantage of the low-cost fares, tickets must be purchased by November 13 for travel by May 5, 2015.

Source: http://ow.ly/Eb4aQ 

Allegiant offers new services to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh - 11/12/2014

Nov 12 2014
Kumasi Aaron, Reporter, weekend anchor

New nonstop flights start in February; fares as low as $65

You'll soon have some new options when flying out of Jacksonville International Airport. Allegiant Airlines announced it will be offering new nonstop service from Jacksonville to two U.S. cities next year.

The airline focuses on low-cost leisure travel and said it provides customers with low base fares averaging nearly half of the cost of the average domestic round-trip fare.

The new Allegiant flights will take off from Jacksonville to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh starting in February. It makes Jacksonville the company's sixth destination city in Florida.

“We are very excited to bring our unique brand of travel to Jacksonville, Fla., and are glad to offer the Jacksonville community nonstop flights to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh,” said Jude Bricker, Allegiant Travel Company senior vice president of planning. “Jacksonville travelers can take advantage of the convenience of flying nonstop to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and book their entire vacation for less with Allegiant.”

The new flights from Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) will operate twice weekly. Flight days and times and the lowest fares can be found at Allegiant.com.

Flights to Cincinnati begin Feb. 12 and flights to Pittsburgh begin Feb. 13.

“We are very excited to welcome our newest carrier, Allegiant Air, to Jacksonville International Airport,” Jacksonville Aviation Authority Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman said. “Their nonstop service to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati gives northeast Floridians more options when traveling to the Midwest.”

To celebrate, Allegiant will offer promotional one-way fares to these cities for as low as $65, but they have to be purchased by Thursday.

The carrier is also offering local travelers the opportunity to win free Allegiant flights for an entire year. One lucky winner and a friend will fly free from the JIA as frequently as once a month for a year. To enter, visit Allegiant.com/FreeFlights.

Source: http://ow.ly/Eb3nJ

Cecil Spaceport prepares for 2016 launch - 10/30/2014

October 29, 2014
Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter

Many people in Jacksonville and north Florida may not beaware, but Cecil Airport is also a spaceport.

There are plans set to launch rockets from the old Navybase, but not like what most are used to seeing.

The Cecil Spaceport has been certified by the federalgovernment and is set to go. The launches there will be quite different. Therewill not be vertical rockets, but horizontal launches. Small Rockets strappedto jets will fly out over the ocean and launch from there.

The first launch is set for December 2016, but there havealready been tests run by Atlanta-based Generation Orbit Launch, or GO Launchfor short.

In July, it tested out a space flight that started at CecilSpaceport and ended with a rocket launch over the ocean. It used a Learjet witha mock rocket attached. The test was to get a feeling of what workers need todo for the real thing. The rocket was never launched.

The Aviation Authority has spent several million dollarsgetting the permits and preparing to build a hanger for a much larger plane.

"We have the infrastructure in place right now to dothose operations," said Rusty Chandler, of Cecil Spaceport.

GO Launch has teamed up with NASA to put small satellitesinto orbit that could be used in communications research and other areas.

GO Launch CEO John Olds said the company is still gettingready and working on funding for the launch in December 2016.

"That is the current plan," Olds said. "It issomewhat dependent on finances allowing that to happen. We have to get a lot ofcash infusion into the company to make that happen."

After the rocket explosion Tuesday in Virginia, some arewondering how safe it is to have private contractors do this.

"Ignition from the rocket itself would not take placeuntil we are 200 miles out over the ocean, east of Jacksonville," Oldssaid. "So the actual start up of the rocket would be out of sight forobservers in Jacksonville. If there was a failure -- and we keep our fingerscrossed their wont be -- it would occur well away from the city."

Source: http://ow.ly/DyVox

Boeing drone moves into production at Cecil Airport - 10/3/2014

Oct 3, 2014

Jensen Werley and Timothy Gibbons
Jacksonville Business Journal

The Boeing QF-16, a drone which is being constructed at Cecil Airport, has finished its testing phase and has moved into initial production.

The former F-16 aircraft are being converted into aerial targets that will be used as target practice by Air Force planes, according to Yvonne Johnson-Jones, senior communications manager at Boeing.

Before the aircraft could enter production, the company had to demonstrate that they could work without pilots, said Johnson-Jones. Preparation for that testing has been done at Cecil since 2010, with the drone recently undergoing live-fire tests and its first pilotless flights at White Sands. After that, the company won the Air Force contract for low-rate initial production.

Six F-16s were converted as proof of concept.

"Now that those tests have been completed, it's validated what we were trying to do," she said.

In an unrelated move, Boeing plans to bring 25 front-office support and service personnel to Jacksonville as part of a relocation of personnel from Washington state. Those employees will work on the Navy's P-8 Poseidon project, for which the company has received several recent contract modifications .

"It allows us to be closer to the customer and better attend to their needs," she said. "With jobs that are transferring there, it makes sense from a time zone perspective, working on the same timetable. We can better respond to them."

Source: http://ow.ly/Cg2Xy 

Jacksonville International Airport Conducts An Alert 3 Exercise - 10/2/2014

October 2, 2014
Aviation Online Magazine

On Wednesday, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority conducted a triennial (every three years) emergency disaster preparedness exercise at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Florida.

The exercise allows the airport and first response agencies to evaluate emergency response systems, techniques, capabilities and communication networks as they relate to a major aircraft incident.

The exercise which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is a real life, full-scale, Alert 3, simulated event that would involve an actual aircraft accident or fire. The Alert 3 scenario began at 9 AM and lasted until 1 PM. The exercise started off with a pilot who had just departed the airport with over 100 hundred passengers onboard.

The pilot contacted JAX Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility (TRACON) to advise the controller that he was experiencing a mechanical problem onboard and was declaring an emergency and needed to return back to the airport.

TRACON cleared the pilot through its airspace and passed the pilot onto the airport tower, the pilot was cleared to land. Upon touchdown the aircraft had a hard landing, crashed and caught on fire. Onboard there were several passengers who needed immediate medial attention.

Over 20 different city and state agencies, including JFRD, JSO and area hospitals, participated in the event along with approximately 100 student volunteers from Raiders Health Academy at Orange Park High School, playing the roles of the victims.

Runway 14/32 was utilized for the exercise with numerous emergency vehicles in and around airport property. A temporary road closure was in effect along Pecan Park, between Woodwings and Terrell, from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The airport remained opened during the exercise and normal airport operations was not affected. JFRD Chief Martin Senterfitt said, "This is one of those low occurrence but high tragedy type events. Fortunately, this doesn't happen routinely, but that's why the exercise is so important."

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority which owns and manages the Jacksonville Airport System which includes Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Craig Airport (CRG), Herlong Recreational Airport (HEG) and Cecil Airport (VQQ) reported they noticed a marked improvement in communications between the different agencies and will evaluate responses to the drill and make improvements to the airport emergency plan as necessary.

Source: http://ow.ly/CcoAE

Agencies participate in plane crash drill at JIA - 10/2/2014

October 1, 2014
Lisa Robbins, First Coast News 

Several agencies participated Wednesday in the JAX Triennial Airport Disaster exercise at Jacksonville International Airport.

The drill was sponsored by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.

In January, officials started planning for the drill as part of a mandated Federal Aviation Administration disaster exercise. The airport is required to conduct a live, full-scale planned exercise every three years to evaluate a response to a regulated disaster, officials said.

During the drill, law enforcement and first responders were dispatched under a simulated 'Alert 3'. This is the most serious type of alert and involves an actual aircraft accident or fire.

Under the scenario, a pilot has contacted JAX TRACON to advise they are turning back to the terminal shortly after takeoff due to a problem in the cockpit. The pilot experiences a hard landing and crashes at JIA, forcing the plane to go up in flames. There are also several passengers on board who need immediate medial attention upon impact.

Students from Raiders Health Academy at Orange Park High School participated in the drill as victims for the second time in three years.

Lead instructor Rafael Ramos said he can tell a big improvement in communication between the different agencies involved.

"The inter-agency interaction is a lot better," he said.

JFRD Chief Martin Senterfitt said these drills help them prepare for possible mass casualty situations, no matter the location.

"This is one of those low occurrence but high tragedy type events. Fortunately, this doesn't happen routinely, but that's why the exercise is so important," he said.

JAA said it will evaluate all responses to the drill and make improvements to the airport emergency plan as necessary.

Source: http://ow.ly/Cckpv 

Fighter plane being built on First Coast debuts - 9/26/2014

September 25, 2014
Andrew Capasso, First Coast

More than 100 contractors and engineers are working at a facility on the city's Northside to build 20 A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes.

The planes will be used by the Afghan Air Force in their fight against insurgents.

"It's an important responsibility," said Gary Spulak, president of Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc.. That's the company that won the $427 million contract to produce the planes.

Many of the workers building the planes have military experience.

"That's the key, that's the core of this whole thing, the skilled workforce," Spulak said.

It's expected that 20 of the planes will be completed by next June. At the Embraer hangar, eight planes can be worked on at the same time. It takes about five months to finish one plane.

"It's the perfect airplane for the battles being fought in Afghanistan," said Congressman Ander Crenshaw.

The A-29 Super Tucano will give the Afghan Air Force the ability to use weapons from the air. Rep. Crenshaw says that's something not readily available, and something that's desperately needed.

"This is very critical for Afghanistan as it stands up as a free and open democracy," he said.

One the planes are built, they'll go to the Moody Air Force Base so pilots can train on them. After that, they'll go to Afghanistan.

Source:  http://ow.ly/BYBde

New military planes roll out of Jacksonville plant - 9/26/2014

September 25 2014
Ashley Mitchem, morning reporter, and Kelly Goddard, Flagler College intern

Sierra Nevada Corporation, Embraer Defense and Security and the U.S. Air Force held a roll-out ceremony Thursday at a North Jacksonville plant for the first United States-built A-29 Super Tucanos, a light-air support aircraft.

The aircraft, which also performs as an advanced trainer, is the first of 20 that are being delivered to the Air Force for its Light Air Support program, which supports the stability of Afghanistan as that country assumes increased responsibility for its own defense. 

Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw said after 13 years building up Afghanistan's military, it's important to teach them how to protect themselves.

"There is a real need in their air force they do not have the capability to protect their military forces from the air except in a very limited way right now," said Titshaw.

The training will take place at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta. The exercises will teach Afghan pilots how to help the security efforts in their own country.

So far, one A-29 is ready for flight and six more in various states of building, with a total of 20 that will go to the Afghan Air Force. It takes about five months to complete each aircraft.

“The Super Tucano is a robust and powerful turboprop aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of missions and, in more than ten years of operations, it has confirmed to be a cost-effective air power solution for nations around the world,” Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer.  “These characteristics, along with its well-proven combat record, make it highly reliable and the logical choice for the LAS mission.”

In March 2013, Embraer officially opened a 40,000-square-foot facility in Jacksonville to produce the LAS aircraft and to date has hired 72 employees. The facility in Jacksonville performs pre-equipping, mechanical assembly, structural assembly, systems installation and testing, and flight testing of A-29 aircraft. Through the LAS program, SNC and Embraer support more than 1,400 jobs with more than 100 companies throughout the United States.

Source: http://ow.ly/BYwn3

Guest column: Cecil Airport is poised to become a player in space industry - 9/12/2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The recent decision by Space Exploration Technologies Inc., better known as SpaceX, to build the nation’s first private launch facility in Texas was clearly disappointing news for Space Florida officials, who had aggressively pursued the project.
This will serve only to galvanize and solidify Space Florida’s pursuit of commercial space opportunities.

But all is not lost for Florida’s commercial space industry here in Northeast Florida, considering the status of the Cecil Airport and Spaceport facility.

Cecil Airport, the former Naval base now owned and managed by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, is well on its way to becoming a player in the exciting space industry. Cecil is one of the few airports in the U.S. — and the only one in Florida — licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a horizontal launch spaceport.

Last year, JAA signed an agreement with its first commercial space operator, Atlanta-based Generation Orbit.


What’s driving the industry now is the development of small satellites using nanotechnology. The industry has even created a standard format known as CubeSat, a 4-inch cube weighing just shy of 3 pounds. These tiny satellites are engineered and built by companies such as Planet Labs, Spire and Skybox in Silicon Valley.

Launching nanosats into suborbit is where Jacksonville enters the picture. Cecil Airport is ideally located for commercial space operations conducted by horizontal launch vehicles.

Cecil is close to the intersection of Interstate 10 and Interstate 95.

Add the necessary infrastructure and a well-trained, available workforce and the result is Generation Orbit, which successfully conducted its first test flight in July.

It will use a modified Gulfstream executive jet to carry a rocket, which it then fires (in-flight launch) to put the nanosats into low-Earth orbit.

Generation Orbit has a contract with NASA to launch its first payload in 2016.

Over the next five years, the industry expects that 1,000 nanosats will be launched either by vertical or horizontal liftoffs. Generation Orbit CEO John Olds says he expects his company will eventually operate two flights per month by 2019.

While Silicon Valley is expected to continue to be the epicenter of satellite development, Cecil is poised to be among the top horizontal launch spaceports. The rapid development of nano-satellites has occurred in just a few years, and there’s no telling where the industry will be in the future. But we can expect continued advances in commercial space.


Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature approved $2 million for Cecil Spaceport infrastructure improvements. And this week, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation held their biannual board and member’s meeting in Jacksonville. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation based in Washington, serves as the industry’s trade association and advocate regarding safety, operational and economic topics.

In conjunction with the Commercial Spaceflight board and member’s meeting, trade-industry experts gathered in Jacksonville for a Commercial Space Summit to discuss issues facing operators and spaceports involved in suborbital and low-space missions.

Both government and private industry recognize the potential for economic growth at Cecil Spaceport.

JAA had the foresight and desire to pursue the lengthy process of applying for a commercial spaceport license more than seven years ago. As a result, Jacksonville and Northeast Florida have gained a national reputation as a leader in this emerging industry.

Terri Davlantes is the chairwoman of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.

Source: http://ow.ly/BqggN 

Flightstar adding new hangars, jobs and customers come 2015 - 9/8/2014

Sept. 8, 2014
Jensen Werley
Reporter-Jacksonville Business Journal

Flightstar Aircraft Services — the heavy maintenance and repair company for transport category aircraft — has transformed itself from a mom-and-pop shop when it opened in 2000 to a rapidly growing industry giant.

The company will soon be expanding to a third, large hangar. When it open its doors for operations come Jan 1, it will be able to serve four to six more aircraft than its current capacity, a 40 percent increase.

"We're in the process of building and completing this hangar, and will move out of a small hangar we're subleasing," said Tucker Morrison, chief operating officer for Flightstar. "We've been bursting at the seams last two years."

Customers like FedEx, Delta and Southwest schedule with Flightstar when they will take a plane out of commission and bring it to the maintenance company for repairs, he said. Flightstar will do anything from corrosion prevention to structural repairs, and maintenance can take 10 to 50 days.

It can serve 9 to 12 planes, depending on the size. When the new hanger opens, it will be able to serve between 12 and 18 planes. The new facility is about 120,000 square feet.

With the new hangar, Flightstar will be able to further serve its current customers, and will possibly add more to its lineup.

"We've had a capacity crunch last few years," Morrison said. "We're turning away business, we're so full."

A key to adding new business was actually building and opening the hangar, said Morrison. Flightstar had to show that it could offer more capacity and wholly support customers before new ones signed on.

"It's 'build it, and they will come'," he said. "We need credibility for a plane to come in and do maintenance. We have that level of credibility with our customers. That allows us to expand and reach out to other customers."
Now, as even more work comes in, Flightstar is looking at ramping up hiring around the holidays. Then, it will evaluate its demand for 2015 and possibly add 200 to 300 people on top of its current 915 employees. When the company was founded, it had a staff of four people.

A key to its hiring, Morrison said, is to hire its employees two to three months before new customers come in, so the company is slightly overstaffed. In that time, employees can be trained well and then dispersed amongst the additional planes that need to be repaired.

"That way, we don't dilute our talent," he said.

Although nothing is set in stone, he said Flightstar is in talks with a couple of different customers, and is looking into the possibility of doing more freighter work. Flightstar is also in talks with its current customer base to work out their 2015-16 plans.

But Morrison said one of the best opportunities will be reaching out to potential customers that they didn't have capacity for previously.

"I'm most excited customers we've turned away," he said, "can come back."

Source: http://ow.ly/Bfty0

New flights announced between Jacksonville and Washington D.C. - 8/21/2014

Aug. 20, 2014
Jensen Werley, Reporter - Jacksonville Business Journal

JetBlue Airways has announced a new twice-daily nonstop service from Jacksonville International Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, according to a press release. Flights start Dec. 18.
Previously, only U.S. Airlines (sic) had nonstop flights from Jacksonville to Washington D.C., said Michael Stewart, director of external affairs for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. 

"Airlines make the determination on if the market has reached a level where they can add seats and make money," he said. "JetBlue has decided it can add the seats to this market. The market is growing."

The announcement is the latest in a string of Jacksonville flights that have rolled out recently: Silver Airways began nonstop service between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale this week, and JetBlue is offering a similar service starting at the end of October.
The new flights to Fort Lauderdale come in the aftermath of Southwest Airlines announcing it was ending flights between Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville.

Source: http://ow.ly/AAgWf

Silver Airways adds flights from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale - 8/20/2014

Aug 19 2014
Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter

If you visit South Florida often, you'll be glad to know that despite the fact Southwest Airlines plans to cancel services between Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale, there is a way to fly out.

Silver Airways is continuing to expand its intra-Florida footprint and bringing more travel into Jacksonville International Airport.

Silver Airways took off with new services Tuesday, adding direct flights between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale.

"Another carrier announced they were leaving the route, on top of demand we see at our Tampa service and through customer comments," said Jamie Kogutek of Silver Airways.

Southwest Airlines is the one that cut off services. But Silver Airways has no problem adding the service because it further establishes it as the leader in intra-Florida flights.

It will have three daily flights, and might increase from there.

Michael Stewart, director of external affairs for Jacksonville Aviation Authority, said because major airlines are pulling out or switching to seasonal schedules, JAA is working on filling the holes left behind.

"Intrastate travel has been a challenge because most of the legacy carriers using large jets have not been profitable with fuel prices going up and demand being flat," Stewart said.

Silver Airways offers refundable flights, and right now there is a special offer for flights starting at $59. In addition, it is also restoring a third flight between Jacksonville and Tampa.

The airport said this is just a small part of what it hopes to roll out this year.

"We are looking at some destinations further west in the U.S. you could get to out of Jacksonville," Stewart said.

In addition to linking northeast and South Florida, the new service will enhance connection opportunities for travelers to the Bahamas and Key West, as well as more than a dozen additional destinations outside of Florida.

Source: http://ow.ly/AwYAh 

Silver Airways beginning Jacksonville-Fort Lauderdale flights - 8/19/2014

Spaceport test flight is giant leap for launch facility in Jacksonville Generation Orbit runs test launch - 7/31/2014

Jul 30, 2014
By Nate Monroe

Cecil Spaceport took a giant leap of sorts Wednesday.
The spaceport’s first tenant, Atlanta-based Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc., ran a test flight Wednesday in preparation for its first commercial launch near the end of 2016.

For the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, the test was the result of many years of small steps that helped land the spaceport at its west Jacksonville airfield, a former Navy base with one of the longest runways on the East Coast. JAA officials, hoping to tap into largely untested space tourism and cargo industries, worked for years to designate Cecil as a spaceport, which is now one of eight around the nation.

Generation Orbit specializes in launching “micro” and “nano” satellites — small enough to hold in your hand — from a rocket attached to an airplane that takes off and lands on runways like passenger jets, a method called “horizontal launching.”

Nothing was sent into space Wednesday.

A Learjet outfitted with a rocket held equipment that will help Generation Orbit collect data to prepare for its first commercial flights. NASA has bought the company’s first flight to launch three research satellites, a contract worth $2.1 million.

“We have our sights set squarely on that first launch, which is by the end of 2016,” said John Olds, the company’s chief executive officer.

The Federal Aviation Administration regulates commercial spaceflight.

A.J. Piplica, the company’s chief operating officer, said until Generation Orbit flies several commercial flights and becomes eligible for an operator’s license, the company will have to submit an application for a license for each planned flight. Generation Orbit is in the process of getting a license for the NASA launch through the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

That process takes about a year, Piplica said.

In December, Generation Orbit formally signed a two-year tenant agreement with JAA with an option to renew for three one-year terms.

Olds said the company wants to plant a foothold in the nascent commercial space business.

Generation Orbit, he said, “is not one and done.”

Olds said in 2017 the company projects running eight flights for customers. By 2019, the company projects running up to two flights a month, 24 per year.

JAA will match a $1.8 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida, the state agency in charge of fostering the space industry, to construct a hangar designed to accommodate commercial launch vehicles. Generation Orbit will use that hangar when it’s complete sometime next year.

Earlier this year, JAA learned the state set aside $2 million to help pay for basic infrastructure at the spaceport. That money does not require a match.

Nate Monroe: (904) 359-4289

Source: http://ow.ly/zNc10

WWII vet returns home after trip to Normandy - 6/12/2014

June 11, 2014
First Coast News

A hero's welcome was waiting for Wednesday at JIA for a local World War II veteran who returned to Normandy for the D-Day Invasion ceremony.

Related: Fire fighters create campaign to send WWII vet to France

He flight was delayed, but Herb Griffin likely didn't mind judging from his reaction when a large crowd of people greeted him and his brother when they walked into Jacksonville International Airport.

FCN reporter Mike Lyons was among the crowd and talked to Herb live during the 7 p.m. show.

You can watch his arrival in the (link below).

Source: http://ow.ly/xW9lY

Cecil Spaceport gets $2 million budget boost State budget includes money for infrastructure - 6/4/2014

Jun 3, 2014
By Nate Monroe

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority got a boost for Cecil Spaceport in the state’s budget next fiscal year.
JAA will receive $2 million that will help develop basic infrastructure at the nascent west Jacksonville airport, which signed its first tenant in December.
“The state’s support for Cecil and this developing industry is critical,” said Steve Grossman, JAA’s executive director and chief executive officer, in a statement. “If the commercial space industry doesn’t come to Cecil, it will likely not come to Florida for at least another four or five years.” 

Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc. of Atlanta is preparing for test launches off Cecil’s runway this year in anticipation of its first commercial flight in 2016. The company specializes in launching “micro” and “nano” satellites from a rocket attached to an airplane that takes off and lands on runways like passenger jets.
Last year, the spaceport received a $1.8 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida to help build a hangar that will accommodate Generation Orbit. That grant requires JAA to match the $1.8 million. 

The $2 million in the state budget does not require a match, said Michael Stewart, JAA’s external affairs director.
“This gives us a good bump,” he said.
Nate Monroe: (904) 359-4289

Source: http://ow.ly/xCimO 

Cecil Spaceport receives $2 million in state budget - 6/3/2014

Jun 3, 2014

Jensen Werley
Reporter-Jacksonville Business Journal

The state is budgeting $2 million to build necessary infrastructure for development of Cecil Spaceport.

“This is an important step in the development of Cecil Spaceport,” said JAA Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman in a press release. “The state’s support for Cecil and this developing industry is critical. If the commercial space industry doesn’t come to Cecil, it will likely not come to Florida for at least another four or five years.”

The first tenant agreement at Cecil Spaceport was signed in December, with Atlanta-based Generation Orbit Launch Services, which is developing an in-flight suborbital space launch platform to perform research.

Test flights are expected to begin at Cecil as early as August, according to the release, and operational launches expected in 2016.

Advocates hope the company’s announcement will be the first of many for the Westside site, one that boasts a runway long enough to handle the space shuttle.

Source: http://ow.ly/xArJ2 

Gov. Scott signs budget that supports Cecil Spaceport - 6/3/2014

June 3, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott signed a $77 billion budget into law on Monday, which includes $2 million to build infrastructure necessary for the development of Cecil Spaceport.

According to a Jacksonville Aviation Authority news release, JAA is appreciative of the support provided by the Florida Legislature, including members of the First Coast Legislative Delegation, the Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida.

“This is an important step in the development of Cecil Spaceport,” said JAA Executive Director and CEO Steve Grossman. “The state’s support for Cecil and this developing industry is critical. If the commercial space industry doesn’t come to Cecil, it will likely not come to Florida for at least another four or five years.” 

In December 2013, JAA signed its first tenant agreement at Cecil Spaceport with Atlanta-based Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO), the release said. The test flights are expected to begin at Cecil in August, with operational launches anticipated in 2016.

Source: http://ow.ly/xAeSY 

At-risk youth group graduates inaugural JAXEX High Achievers Program - 5/29/2014

May 28, 2014

Jensen WerleyReporter- Jacksonville Business Journal

High Achievers — an at-risk youth program created through JAXEX and the Police Athletic League — graduated its inaugural group of students Thursday.
The program was created when the league was looking to expand its academic curriculum, and JAXEX — also known as Craig Airport — wanted more community involvement.
Tiffany Gillem, airport manager for JAXEX, said the program was designed to expose students to aviation and its related careers.

"Typically when I speak to young people, and inquire what they now about aviation jobs, it's always a pilot or flight attendant," she said.
To remedy this, JAXEX sought out help from its tenants and other partnerships, to expose the students to the wide spectrum of aviation-related careers.
Based on positive feedback, Gillem said they will be looking to bring back the High Achievers program for a new group of students.
The group of students, whose ages ranged from 13 to 18 years old, learned about aircraft maintenance and aerial photography through Malone Air Charter, air traffic control through contracted tower operators RVA, Inc. and airport management at JAXEX. 

On the last day of the four month program, the students learned about professional development, like what to wear to an interview, how to make a resume and even what mistakes can keep them from getting jobs in aviation.
The group started with 20 participants and ended with 8 graduates— youth members had to show engagement, complete homework assignments, and write an essay at the end of the program.
They learned Jacksonville Aviation Authority's internship program and were able to network with tenants who may provide their own internships, job shadowing or opportunities to tour the facility. Three older students were eligible to attend a summer aviation camp, based on the quality of their essays.
"We're looking for ways to get positive impact for youth," said Gillem. "Hopefully I've opened the door to help them."
Marshall Wood, marketing director for Malone Air Charter, one of the tenants involved with High Achievers, said he saw getting involved not only as a chance to help children, but to also show the economic importance of aviation and how important Craig Airport is for the community.
"Personally I'm just all about that, simply because an airport is not something the average young person, particularly those from minority backgrounds, have any experience with at all," he said. "When I show young folks the world aviation, they're like a kid in a candy store. It amazes them."
Randy Crews, a sergeant with Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, who has worked with PAL for two years, said that PAL and the High Achievers program gets students thinking about options they never thought they had.
"The demographic we serve do not have that opportunity to say, 'hey that's achievable, I can do this,' without someone putting them in the right direction," he said. 

Crews presented the idea of involving PAL with JAXEX after he thought about the own life and the confidence he gained after getting his pilot's license. He said the process is difficult, and being able to do that allows someone to feel like they can achieve anything.
"The confidence aviation gave me is what made me what I am today," he said.
He said PAL is open to the public, and specifically targets children who have not gotten into trouble, but are at-risk for doing so if they didn't have a reason to get involved in the community.
"These are good kids, excellent children," Crews said.
He said many of the students testified at their commencement that not only did the High Achievers program show them they had options, but that going into aviation is something they want to achieve.
"This is such a unique opportunity," he said. "It's opening up options galore for them."

Source: http://ow.ly/xo1RV 

JetBlue adds flights between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale - 5/28/2014

May 28, 2014
Jensen Werley Reporter- Jacksonville Business Journal

JetBlue is adding nonstop flights between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale, starting Oct. 29, the company announced Wednesday.
Tickets are on sale now and until May 30 will cost $69, one way, for flights between Oct. 29 and Dec. 17.
"This new route will provide business and leisure travelers with affordable and award-winning nonstop full-size jet service between these two vibrant cities," Dave Clark, vice president of network planning for JetBlue Airways, said in a press release.

This announcement is the second of its kind this week. Silver Airways also announced new flights between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale that will start later this year.
The two new services are in response to Southwest Airlines' announcing it will no longer offer flights from the Fort Lauderdale area, said Debbie Jones, community relations administrator for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. 

"Southwest is pulling flights from Fort Lauderdale," she said. "These other carriers are picking up that market." 

Southwest will continue flights to and from Jacksonville, where it is one of the airport's largest carriers, she said.
"All the airlines make these decisions as to which markets are profitable to them," she said. "We never like to see something go away, but we are glad that other carriers have decided to fill that niche."

Source: http://ow.ly/xmtnK 

Silver Airways flying between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale - 5/28/2014

May 28, 2014
Jensen Werley, Jacksonville Business Journal

Silver Airways, a Ft. Lauderdale-based regional airline, announced Tuesday it will begin daily non-stop flights between Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale, starting Aug. 19.
Fliers can purchase one-way tickets for $79 between now and May 29 for flights between the Aug. 19 start date and Nov. 5.
Misty Pinson, director of corporate communications for Silver Airways, said the company is excited to offer the new flights to both business and leisure fliers.

"It's great for both," she said. "Business travelers can fly back and forth on the same day. For leisure travelers, they can avoid the hassle of driving, and for $79, it's cheaper."
She said Silver Airways decided to connect the flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Jacksonville because the city is both a destination for business potential and a hub of Northeast Florida, she said.
"Florida is our home. We have service in more cities in Florida than any other airline, and more service between Ft. Lauderdale and the Bahamas than any other airline," she said.
Debbie Jones, community relations administrator for Jacksonville Aviation Authority, said they are excited Silver Airways is expanding its Jacksonville services.
"We're really pleased that they have the confidence in the market that they want to expand their operation here in Jacksonville," she said.
She said the aviation authority is prepared for the additional flights.
"Absolutely, we're ready for them," she said. "We always welcome airlines to add flights."

Source: http://ow.ly/xmshu 

Wine flights, arriving daily: Vino Volo debuts at JIA - 5/1/2014

April 30, 2014
by Jay Magee

As longer connection times, late arrivals and a host of other hassles have tarnished the once-friendly skies, airports have stepped in to provide weary travelers with more terrestrial delights between their flights. Massage stations, rock-climbing walls and libraries are some of the many amenities you’ll find in 21st century air terminals.
And so it goes with Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), which is banking on wine to soothe the weary traveler and connoisseurs alike with the Vino Volo wine lounge, shop and restaurant.
The 9-year-old, 35-location San Francisco-based chain, entrenched predominantly in North American airports, landed in JIA’s Terminal C last Thursday. It’s the chain’s first outlet in Florida and the Southeast in general.
Vino deals primarily in reds, whites and the occasional bubbles, by the glass ($8-29) or the bottle, with local and regional varietals selected by local management. About half of what you’ll find here can be tracked down at other retail outlets, with the balance from exclusive deals with vineyards. Based on demand, wine menus can rotate each week, but usually monthly. Flights of three glasses always are available ($10-20), served on metallic trays with perforated coasters that share the lineage of your chosen glass.
You’ll also find a crafty collection of small bites, entr?e-size plates and a sweet treat or two ($3-17). Think Brie & Prosciutto Sandwiches, Smoked Salmon Rolls, Roasted Lamb Meatballs, etc. But make no mistake, the focus here is clear.
“Wine is food,” proclaimed Marco Di Bernardo, the chain’s director of development, who swooped in for a soft-opening gathering on Wednesday with airport staff and board members.
Vino’s post-security location near the midpoint of the A and C terminals makes it a convenient spot for most travelers, at most a 2-minute-long huff to the far reaches of either. Because it is after your run-in with TSA, passengers can cork their liquid purchases for carry-on to their next destination, or to enjoy in-flight (depending on your airline’s regulations).
For the truly time-pressed traveler, Di Bernardo said the number-one thing Vino Volo can do to serve them is to educate them about various wines, some of which they may have never tasted based on regional variations. And since JAX is known as an origin-and-destination airport (the place where most travelers stay or return to vs. connect elsewhere), it’s easy for most to arrive home from a trip and have more time to make purchases.
Vino Volo is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. You’ll have to have a valid boarding pass and ID to stop by. Visit vinovolo.com to learn more about the chain. For other food and dining options at JIA, check out flyjax.com.

Source: http://bit.ly/PTzUgR

Wine bar prepares to open at JIA - 4/22/2014

April 21, 2014

A first-of-its-kind wine bar will open for business at Jacksonville International Airport on Thursday.

Vino Volo, a wine tasting lounge and retail wine shop, will open their only Florida location in Terminal C.
 The contemporary styled shop will offer travelers alcoholic beverages from all over the world.
Travelers will be able to enjoy wines by the glass, wines by the bottle and gourmet wine-pairing food plates food.
 Flyers will also have the option of purchasing wines to carry on-board flights or having the bottles shipped to one’s destination.
Vino Volo currently operates in 18 different airports across the country.

Source: http://bit.ly/1nlVHMP

Everybody wins - 4/21/2014

Thursday, 17 April 2014
Written by  Benet Wilson 

Benet Wilson talks to a handful of airports that have used ACI’s Airport Service Quality survey to enhance the passenger experience and strengthen their brand.

Jacksonville International Airport
Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) has ranked fifth of all North American airports in ACI’s annual customer satisfaction survey for the last 
two years. It was also fifth among airports worldwide serving 5-15 million passengers in 2008 and 2009.
The airport uses customer feedback, including data from the ASQ survey, internal comment forms, social media, and face-to-face customer interaction, to improve the passenger experience, says Bryan Long, Jacksonville’s customer service manager.
Airport improvements include: creating a standardised customer service training initiative for all employees; upgrading bathrooms; offering improved flight, gate, and baggage information screens; providing free Wi-Fi; delivering more food and beverage offerings for longer hours; creating a ‘Preferred Traveller’ lane at the security checkpoint; and building improved signage.
Long also credited its Volunteer Airport Ambassadors, 55 people from all walks of life who donated nearly 10,000 hours of their time in 2013 to help customers.
“We would not have the great reputation for customer service without our ambassadors,” he smiles. “Also, the leadership and hard work of the entire Jacksonville Aviation Authority staff is the foundation which makes us one of the best airports in the world. The success of all depends on each team member.”

The idea of ranking is central to the nature of competitive spirit, says Long. “But being ranked the best for a given period of time, is not as important as steady improvement over time. The goal should always be consistent improvement in each area,” he states.

“The ASQ programme helps us plan both short and long-term goals designed to improve the quality of our delivery and enhance the brand, making JAX a desired location to fly to. Awards will come and go, but the goal is consistent, relentless improvement.”  

Jacksonville is about always striving for higher satisfaction, says Long. “Where we do use the awards are when we work with our airline partners to grow new services or get more seats,” he reveals.
“The awards are also useful for our regional economic development teams who are bringing new businesses to the area.  The quality of air service plays a big factor when companies are scouting for locations.”

Source: http://bit.ly/1eWYidB

Jacksonville International Airport sees gun rates triple, but no arrests since 2004 - 4/5/2014

By Andrew Pantazi, Fri, Apr 4, 2014

Each year, more and more Jacksonville International Airport passengers are stopped at security checkpoints with guns, a rate that tripled in just two years, jumping from 10 to 30.

Each time, airport police let the passengers go, fines in one hand and their guns in the other.

Jacksonville Aviation Authority police have not arrested any passengers stopped with guns in a decade because, interim airport Public Safety Director Lt. Mark Stevens said, all of them mistakenly brought the guns with them and had no criminal intent.

Despite the growing number of guns finding their way to security checkpoints, Jacksonville Aviation Authority executive director Steven Grossman said, his complex is safe. The security staff has almost doubled in the last five years, and he argued the airport is safer than ever.

Still, the State Attorney’s Office said if a crime has been committed, it always would review the case and potentially bring charges if police arrest the passengers.

In 2011, 10 passengers at the Jacksonville airport brought guns to the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, whether in a carry-on or on their body. The next year, security stopped 19 people with guns. In 2013, security stopped 30 passengers with firearms.

Federal Transportation Security Administration officers cannot arrest armed passengers, but the agency does fine them up to $11,000 and up to $3,000 if the guns are not loaded. The officers turn over the guns to airport police with a criminal referral, but it’s up to police to decide whether to arrest the passengers.

In Jacksonville, police detain the passengers and interview them, but if they decide the passengers brought the guns to the checkpoint by accident, they return the weapons. Passengers can then properly store their firearms in checked baggage, store them in their cars or leave the weapons with friends. They are allowed to continue on their flights.

“Somebody who makes a mistake like that, is it really justified that they have an arrest on the record?” Grossman said. “That carries a lot of consequences. A lot of job applications ask if you’ve ever been arrested. Not if you’ve been convicted, just if you’ve been arrested. That seems like a pretty high penalty to pay. If we have reason, we will absolutely arrest somebody.”

The Orlando Sentinel reported last month that Orlando International Airport authorities arrest every passenger who brings a gun, with two exceptions out of 44 last year, according to the police. Orlando police Sergeant Roger Brennan did not return four phone calls, multiple phone messages and an e-mail asking for comment on his agency’s policy.

If it’s obvious the passenger wasn’t trying to sneak the gun past security, Jacksonville’s airport police director Stevens said he doesn’t see why the passenger needs to be arrested. He also wondered how effective Orlando’s policy is.

“Even though you’re physically arresting them, how many cases are you bringing to trial?” Stevens asked.

The Ninth Circuit State Attorney’s Office prosecutor and spokesman Richard I. Wallsh said most of the cases don’t end in a conviction. To convict a passenger, the prosecutors would need to prove the passenger knowingly brought the gun to the airport. Instead, many cases are not prosecuted, or the cases are resolved in a pre-trial diversion program that avoids a conviction.

“Even though people get arrested here, it is unusual that they would get a felony or misdemeanor conviction,” he said.

Just this week, a 49-year-old Ohio woman was arrested on felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon without a license at the Orlando airport in her carry-on bag. Julie Powell said she didn’t realize the gun was inside the suitcase, which she borrowed from her father.

Months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Administration was formed, along with a ban against bringing guns to security checkpoints. The federal ban, though, only includes civil fines. It’s up to local law enforcement and local and state laws to decide if bringing guns to a security checkpoint is worthy of arrest.

Jacksonville’s airport policy of not arresting passengers is more normal than Orlando’s, according to David Borer, general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees union that represents Transportation Safety Administration workers. He said he doesn’t accept the idea that passengers brought the guns on accident, and he wants them arrested.

“Fifty people a week show up with a gun at airports around the country. The majority of those guns are loaded,” Borer said. “… With officers assaulted and now killed, the law enforcement needs to do their job.”

He said the union has proposed creating its own law-enforcement agency capable of arresting passengers for violating state or federal law.

Donald Thomas, the local union president and a Transportation Security Administration screener in Orlando, said more guns show up because screeners and the technology are getting better at finding them and more people are carrying weapons in Florida. By the end of March, 1.4 million residents had concealed weapon permits in Florida.

“A lot of people in Florida have guns, and they forget it’s in the bags,” he said. “There are a lot of people who’ve got guns now who aren’t used to having them.”

Borer doubted a passenger could accidentally bring a gun. Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said the agency takes it very seriously when passengers bring guns to security checkpoints.

She pointed out that sometimes passengers use the same bag previously used on a road trip and forget about a gun that was left stowed away.

“As more time has passed since 9/11,” she said, “many passengers have become lax in packing for a flight. The same suitcase may have been used for road trip, so you need to unpack before you pack for a flight. … It is the passenger’s responsibility to know what is in their suitcase.”

Jacksonville Aviation Authority police director Stevens said potential passengers have no reason to worry. “The safety of the flying public is our utmost concern,” he said. “Thirty guns seems like a lot, but we’re catching them and that’s the most important thing.”

Stevens, who has been at the airport police since 2010, said it’s his understanding that from 2001 to 2004, police arrested passengers and the State Attorney’s Office wouldn’t prosecute the cases because there was no criminal intent. In 2004, police stopped arresting passengers unless it was clear they were trying to sneak the guns past security. Asked for a copy of that policy, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority did not produce it, saying that it is sensitive security information.

Jackelyn Barnard, the spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said the new administration is unaware of the airport policy, and “If charges are warranted, charges will be filed.”

Grossman, the airport’s top executive, said police look for repeat offenders, and to his knowledge, no passenger has brought a gun to the safety checkpoint twice. Comparing the Orlando and Jacksonville airports’ policies, he said, is tricky.

“In my business, the saying is if you’ve seen one airport, you’ve seen one airport. We’re all different,” he said. “We have a pretty simple airport with one checkpoint all passengers go through. We can provide an excellent layer of security rather easily.”

Andrew Pantazi: (904) 359-4310

Source: http://bit.ly/1fTzbCY

Georgia crash puts Arlington residents on edge Advocates still pushing for longer runway at Craig Airport - 3/26/2014

Mar 25 2014
Hailey Winslow, General assignment reporter

The search for a twin-engine plane that went down 70 miles north of Jacksonville has East Arlington residents again discussing whether or not the runway at Craig Airport should be extended.

Federal authorities said a twin-engine Piper PA-44 flying from Concord, N.C., to Jacksonville Executive at Craig disappeared from radar Monday evening near St. Simons Island.

Neighbors worry after plane crash

The plane is believed to belong to the ATP Flight School, based at Craig Airport.

This comes amid continuing discussions about extending the main runway at Craig Airport from 4,000 to 6,000 feet to allow more business aircraft to use the facility.

"There is no reason that Craig Airport in the last 20 years has not had its runway extended," said Marshall Wood, director of marketing for Malone AirCharter. "It has to happen. There's an economic imperative."

But Greater Arlington Civic Council president and city planner Lad Hawkins says extending the runway raises safety and noise concerns and would hurt property value of homeowners in the area.

The most recent of several crashes around Craig Airport was a plane that went down in a Sandalwood neighborhood pond in December, narrowly missing a home and killing a South Florida pilot and his two daughters.

"Craig Field is going to stay a little airport, and we're going to build lots of houses around it, and that's still our plan," Hawkins said.

Hawkins says in 1990, city leaders adopted a comprehensive plan for Jacksonville which clearly states "runways at Craig Field shall not be extended."

"The future is, if they extend one runway, then later on they may extend another runway, and then link to that runway," Hawkins said. "You can't stop it once the horse gets out of barn."

Hawkins says the money would be better spent at Cecil Field, Jacksonville Aviation Authority's regional airport on the Westside.

"If you had $20 million and you wanted to spend it, you should spend it there, not here for a couple fat cats who live in Ponte Vedra and want to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina, in their jets because they're too lazy to drive up to JIA," Hawkins said.

A spokeswoman for Jacksonville Aviation Authority said there are no current plans to extend the runway at Craig, but it remains a possibility in the future.

Source: http://bit.ly/P1zMvu

Food notes: Vino Volo to open at Jacksonville International Airport - 2/24/2014

Monday, February 24

The city approved a permit Thursday for Vino Volo to renovate space in Concourse C at Jacksonville International Airport. The San Francisco-based company plans to build-out a 1,150-square-foot space for a wine bar and caf? at a project cost of $282,020.

“Vino Volo Discover Great Wines” is planned in No. 209 in the concourse. The vinovolo.com site says Vino Volo operates in cities and airports across North America. The site lists 24 locations. Of those, some airports have multiple Vino Volos.

Most locations offer lunch, dinner and small plates and some offer breakfast.

The website also has an online wine shop.

The permit lists tenant finish-out for space for a wine bar and sandwich shop.

Source: http://bit.ly/1hqfbJU

Cecil stakes a claim to space - 2/21/2014

February 21, 2014
Timothy Gibbons
Managing Editor-Jacksonville Business Journal

It’s a dream almost a decade in the making.

In 2005, City of Jacksonville officials embarked on plans to make Cecil Field — the former Navy base turned airport/commerce center — into a locus of aerospace activity, a launching pad for wannabe space tourists like Backstreet Boy Lance Bass.

For years, the idea seemed to go about as well as, say, Bass’ career. Now, that all seems to be changing.

Late last year, a first tenant signed up to launch operations at Cecil Spaceport.

Later this year, that firm — Generation Orbit Launch Services Inc., an Atlanta-based commercial space launch provider — plans to send aloft from Cecil a horizontally launched vehicle as part of a plan to convey a miniature satellite into space.

Advocates hope the company’s announcement will be the first of many for the Westside site, one that boasts a runway long enough to handle the (late, lamented) space shuttle.

If more announcements follow, it could signify the beginnings of a new industry sector in Jacksonville: More launches at Cecil could attract a plethora of related companies, from fabricators to technologists — and if space tourism becomes a reality, the spinoff effects could reach as far as the hospitality industry.

“We need something like that, something that will mark the start of a new era,” said Juan Merkt, director of Jacksonville University’s Davis Aviation Center. “As Cecil starts to play a role in horizontal space launches and attracts more business to the area, this is definitely going to benefit the city, its educational institutions, you name it.”

Space is a growing market. Over the next 10 years, the Federal Aviation Administration projects, there will be demand for some 4,500 flights ... and if interest grows, that number could top 13,000.

“We have evolved to the point that commercial space is a reality,” said Todd Lindner, administrator of planning and development for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, which owns the spaceport.

Commencing launch sequence

That evolution took years.

The idea of Cecil as a spaceport first came to the fore in 2005, when a consultant working for the state’s Commission on the Future of Space and Aeronautics in Florida called Cecil the “the best airport for aircraft-like launch vehicles” — that is, horizontal launches — because of its 12,500-foot runway and relative lack of encroaching development.

During a breakfast meeting during the Super Bowl in Jacksonville, local economic development officials pitched representatives of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic on the idea of establishing a spaceport at Cecil (a project that was later done in New Mexico).

At the time, the state was considering picking a site to serve as Florida’s first commercial spaceport, particularly in light of the winding down of operations at Cape Canaveral, where various restrictions made the site less appealing to private businesses.

But shifting political winds and restructuring of the state’s space agency caused those plans to die on the vine. Instead, JAA embarked on its open application to be licensed as a launch site.

In 2007, the FAA signed off on an environmental assessment of the airport, and three years later, the aviation authority had its operator’s license in hand. (Operators are also required to obtain their own licenses.)

That didn’t mean it was ready to start sending stuff into space yet.

“The parallel is often drawn between the state of commercial space travel now and the aviation industry shortly after the Wright brothers inaugurated powered flight,” says the Cecil Spaceport Master Plan drawn up in 2012. “Just as they could not have foreseen the pace and direction of aviation development, so is it difficult now to see the path of space development. What is clear, however, is that commercial space vehicles are coming, and they will need facilities from which they can operate.”

Looking for space

That’s where Generation Orbit comes in.

With $1.8 million from the state, JAA is in the process of building a hangar that will be used by the Atlanta-based company as well — the authority’s Lindner said — as other companies.

“We’ve had conversations with most of the horizontal launch operators out there,” he said. “They’re very open to Jacksonville.”

Generation Orbit noticed Cecil because of the infrastructure already in place there, said A.J. Piplica, an aerospace engineer and the company’s chief operating officer.

“They have a spaceport license with the FAA already in place,” he said. “A lot of people are talking about building spaceports; they have everything in place that we need from a regulatory standpoint as well as a facility standpoint.”

That includes a path that its launch vehicle can go through between leaving the spaceport and heading for the stars. “What has been developed is a corridor that goes from Cecil out to the Atlantic Ocean,” said Ken Ibold, an aviation consultant with Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc. — a pathway some other airports have struggled to create.

Cecil also has enough clear space around the runway to meet safety requirements.

Generation Orbit’s vehicles are a far cry from the gigantic rockets that filled the skies of Cape Canaveral with flames: From the outside, the launch vehicles look — and take off — like business jets.

In Piplica’s words: “We’re not making any smoke or noise until we’re a couple hundred miles offshore.”
Still, keeping them away from people is the better part of valor, Ibold said: “You wouldn’t do this at JIA. You certainly wouldn’t do this at Craig.”

What that smoke and noise will do is send into space very small satellites.

Basically, just as the technology in cellphones has gotten both smaller and more powerful, Piplica said, so has satellite tech. That means that units can be launched with the expectation that they won’t last as long, but that they can be replaced just about as often as you sign a new iPhone contract.

“We’re starting to get into people who didn’t think they could use data from space because it was too expensive,” he said.

2014 should see the company conduct two test launches from Cecil in preparation for the 2016 launch of three, 10-pound satellites that will go 265 miles up.

As the company is getting ready for those launches, the aviation authority is getting ready for more tenants. The spaceport hangar, now in the design phase, will be around 45,000 to 55,000 square feet, including an ultra-clean area for securing payloads.

The final frontier?

Despite all of that in the works, JAA holds out a note of caution: The countdown might have started, but that doesn’t mean ignition is about to occur.

It will take on the order of two to three years for Cecil to become a facility that sees regular launch operations, Lindner said, and years beyond that for an industrial base to build up.

It can be a challenge, Ibold said. “There’s lots of pieces of the puzzle to put together. There’s the issue of trying to develop something for an industry in its infancy, for vehicles that don’t really exist.”

But Cecil has a lot going for it, Piplica said.

“Once you see someone doing something in space from there, you’ll see other people attracted to the area,” he said. “If it shows it’s a successful place to access space, it has a chance to develop into a commercial version of what the Cape was back in the ’60s.”

Source: http://bit.ly/1eecSpV

Kids with autism get airport test run: 'Next time the anxiety level will not be so high' - 2/5/2014

Feb 4, 2014
By Beth Reese Cravey

Max Moran, 12, makes his way down the aisle of a JetBlue airplane with his mother, Mariam. JetBlue has been involved in the "Wings for Autism" program for three years.

Michelle Dunham and her 15-year-old son Nicholas, who has autism, held hands as they navigated Jacksonville International Airport.

She worried how he would react to walking through a place full of strangers and unfamiliar sights and sounds and going into the big scary security-scan machine, the narrow enclosed tunnel that connects the terminal to the JetBlue plane and the narrow enclosed aisle of the plane.

“I’m more nervous than he is,” Dunham said.

Flight 7920, which traveled only a mile or so, was part of Jacksonville International Airport’s first Wings for Autism event, an “airport dress rehearsal” for area families with autistic children. Thirty families obtained boarding passes, went through security, ate boxed lunches together, waited, walked down the tunnel, boarded the plane, waited some more and experienced the plane’s movement as it was towed from the terminal to the runway and back.

Nicholas, who is sensitive to sound, light and touch, wore noise-canceling headphones in the terminal and on the plane. He showed a mixture of excitement and anxiety.

He willingly entered the scanner, but was startled by the scan itself and walked backwards when it was over rather than ahead. He enjoyed watching tarmac activity from a window at lunch, but didn’t eat much and focused on his iPad when the waiting got to him. And when he got on the plane, he headed down the aisle at a fast pace to find his seat.

“He did excellent,” marveled his mother, co-founder and executive director of the Jacksonville School for Autism. “I am really shocked.”


Wings for Autism was created in 2011 by the Charles River Center in Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Port Authority to help alleviate some of the stress that people with sensory and developmental disorders experience when traveling by air. Also, the free program helps airport personnel learn how to accommodate children with special needs.

The Jacksonville program on Jan. 29 was among the first, after Boston, Montreal and Seattle, and will be followed this year by events in Anchorage and Tulsa, with negotiations under way with other airports.

So far, six airlines are participating.

Local sponsors were JIA, JetBlue Jacksonville, the Transportation Security Administration, HMS Host food services, The Arc of Jacksonville — which serves people with intellectual and developmental disorders — and The HEAL Foundation (Healing Every Autistic Life), a nonprofit based in Ponte Vedra Beach.


Brian Long, JIA customer services manager, said the program stemmed from the many requests he had received for “some sort of orientation” for special-needs children.

“That gave us the impetus,” he said. “This was the right thing to do and it was in our best interest.”

There was a waiting list for the test run, which was the first Wings for Autism event that included the plane actually moving, and JIA plans to offer the program again.

JetBlue, which has been part of Wings for Austism for three years in Boston, will participate in future Jacksonville programs as well, said John Friedel, the airline’s Jacksonville general manager.

The JetBlue flight crew volunteered its services.

“We were founded with the vision of bringing humanity back to air travel and ... and leading by action,” he said.

The youth on the plane had a wide range of autism spectrum disorders. Most of them seemed to handle the experience with aplomb, although there were some squeals and crying during the 4-hour journey.

“The major goal of this being a ‘rehearsal’ to give families an indication of how their child with autism would experience air travel was accomplished,” said Judy Hall Lanier, director of development for the Arc of Jacksonville. “I saw a lot of smiles in the gate area afterwards!”

Leslie Weed, co-founder of HEAL, said she was impressed by how welcoming airport personnel were toward the group.

She did not bring her daughter, who has a severe form of autism, but said she might in the future.

“For the families to get the opportunity to have a test run, next time the anxiety level will not be so high,” she said.


As the plane moved from the terminal, Darren Beechum, 14, sat in a window seat and urged the plane on.

“Bye bye,” he said. “Here we go!”

When the plane stopped briefly, he got fidgety. When the plane began moving again, he said he knew what planes typically do next.

“Up and up and up and up,” he said.

His mother, Barbara, sitting beside him, said she wondered if that expectation would cause more anxiety, since the plane was not going to go up. But when the plane returned to the terminal, he said, “Do it again.”

Beth Reese Cravey: (904) 359-4109

Source: http://bit.ly/1ipmB0N

Pioneering pilot Bessie Coleman will be honored if JIA builds a Jacksonville aviation hall of fame - 2/3/2014

Fri, Jan 31, 2014
By Matt Soergel 

Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator who died over Jacksonville in 1926.

The CEO of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority said it’s likely that Jacksonville International Airport will open an aviation hall of fame by the middle of next year. And when it does, one of the first inductees would be Bessie Coleman, a pioneering pilot who fell to her death over the city in 1926.

That’s a great idea, said the man pushing to have a prominent memorial for Coleman in the city where she died. But it’s still not enough, he said.

“I’m not happy about that at all,” said Opio Sokoni. “We’ll put her in there with everybody else, which dilutes her and what she really means to this city. There’s no pilot, anywhere else, that has such an interesting story.”

Coleman, the daughter of Texas sharecroppers, was the first black woman to get a pilot’s license, and had to go to France to get it. She was a nationwide celebrity known as “Queen Bess,” famed for her boldness, perseverance and beauty.

On Aug. 30, 1926, she was over the Westside, scouting sites for a parachute jump for an air show the next day. Coleman was thrown to her death when the plane in which she was a passenger went into a sudden dive.

The plane exploded on impact, killing pilot William Wills.

Thousands of people attended a memorial service in Jacksonville for Coleman before her body was put on a train to Chicago for a huge funeral there.

Sokoni is a Jacksonville native who recently became president of the Jacksonville chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He stressed that his efforts to honor Coleman, somewhere in the city, are as a private citizen.

He found a supporter in Steve Grossman, CEO of the JAA, who said he favored doing something at the city’s main airport.

And in a Monday email to Sokoni and several other people — including city councilmen Bill Gulliford and Warren Jones, who have expressed interest in honoring Coleman — he said the airport is “leaning” toward opening an aviation hall of fame. It would be in the terminal building, a project included in next year’s budget planning process.

“I believe it will be an excellent venue to honor Jacksonville aviators and by having (it) in the terminal, millions of people will be able to view it,” he wrote.

Sokoni said that’s fine, but just not enough of an honor for such a figure. He said she also deserves a separate airport monument, such as a life-sized bust of her likeness.

Jacksonville does have one reminder that Coleman died in the city. In 2012, a bronze plaque of “Queen Bess” was placed at Paxon School for Advanced Studies, on the site of the 1920s airport where her fatal flight began.

It was unveiled by the Bessie Coleman Aerospace Legacy Inc., which was founded by a group of African-American female pilots and aviation professionals.

Matt Soergel: (904) 359-4082

Source: http://bit.ly/1bnE9t4

Jacksonville aviation chief gets 3% pay hike Board cites oustanding (sic) annual performance review - 1/27/2014

Mon, Jan 27, 2014
By Nate Monroe

Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Steve Grossman will take home a 3 percent pay raise this year.
The JAA board unanimously approved the raise Monday after board member A.L. Kelly said Grossman had reached annual performance benchmarks set last year. 

His salary will increase from $288,400 to about $297,052. The increase is retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year, which started Oct. 1. Grossman did not receive a bonus.
Last year, the board also approved a 3 percent raise for Grossman for outstanding work, though initially board members had decided against it because of the tough economic climate and the city’s financial struggles. 

Among the recent accomplishments listed included the completion in June of KCI Aviation’s hangar at Cecil Airport, refinancing of $75 million in bonds that save the authority money each year, negotiating favorable agreements with the Jacksonville International Airport airlines.
Source: http://bit.ly/1e2ODjV

Three Jacksonville facilities awarded multi-million-dollar contracts this week - 1/27/2014

Jan 24, 2014
By Clifford Davis

The Department of Defense announced this week that three Jacksonville facilities won multi-million dollar government contracts.
The Boeing Company received a $17.8 million contract to upgrade F/A-18 Hornets with 92 percent of the work coming to Boeing’s Cecil Airport facility.
The facility began performing upgrades on the planes in 1999 and recently became the national center of component structural repair for the planes.
“Obviously we are excited about the additional work Boeing will be doing at Cecil Airport,” Michael Stewart, director of external affairs for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority said. “A company with the international exposure of a Boeing, we’re just proud to have them as a tenant at Cecil.
The cost-plus, fixed-fee contract was not competitively bid.
The most recent contract is an extension of a previous award for upgrades on F/A-18 A through D Hornets and F/A-18 E and F Super Hornets. The Jacksonville facility employs 252 people.
In a second contract, Jacksonville-based Reynolds, Smith and Hill architectural and engineering firm was one of three companies awarded a $10 million contract for work to enhance or replace elementary and secondary schools on U.S. military bases and other overseas territories.
Reynolds, Smith and Hill, begun in Jacksonville in 1942, faced-off with 45 other companies to win the firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract.
Also, on Friday Jacksonville’s Goodrich Corporation was awarded a nearly $7.6 million cost contract for “engineering design services and fabrication of a full-scale prototype submarine rotor component under the Hybrid Demonstration program,” according to the Department of Defense.
Gov. Rick Scott also announced Friday that Duval and Clay counties received Florida state defense grants of $275,000 and $250,000 respectively.
Duval County received $200,000 for Outlying Field Whitehouse, an airfield used to simulate carrier takeoffs and landings, and a defense reinvestment grant worth $75,000.
“In Duval County, the military and defense industry is credited with $11.9 billion in economic impact and 108,901 jobs,” according to the governor’s office.
In Clay County, Camp Blanding received $200,000 for a vehicle entrance security upgrade. This grant comes on the heels of a $729,000 state grant the base received in October 2013 for an early warning system.
Clay also received a $50,000 defense reinvestment grant.
All-told, the contracts and grants add up to roughly $36 million. The governor’s offices touted the impact for the entire state.
“Florida’s military and defense industry is responsible for $73.4 billion, or 9.4 percent, of Florida’s gross state product, which translates to jobs for 758,112 Floridians,” according to the press release.
Clifford Davis: (904) 359-4103

Source: http://bit.ly/1mO4wtY

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