Jacksonville International Airport
|Jacksonville International Airport|
|IATA: JAX – ICAO: KJAX – FAA LID: JAX|
|Owner/Operator||Jacksonville Aviation Authority|
|Serves||Jacksonville metropolitan area|
|Elevation AMSL||30 ft / 9 m|
|Sources: FAA, airport website|
Jacksonville International Airport (IATA: JAX, ICAO: KJAX, FAA LID: JAX) is a joint civil-military public airport located 13 miles (21 km) north of downtown Jacksonville, a city in Duval County, Florida. This airport is owned and operated by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.
Construction of the airport started in 1965, in order for the city to accommodate a more cosmopolitan populace which was introduced with the sizable naval bases in the region. Jacksonville International Airport was dedicated on September 1, 1968, replacing Imeson Field. Imeson had to be replaced due to the advent of commercial jet travel and the longer takeoff runs required by jets. The terrain at the Imeson site prohibited lengthening the runways. A new idea tried in the construction of JIA was separating departing and arriving passengers on different sides of the terminal (as can be seen in the photo on this page). This is no longer the case, and the airport (which has been greatly expanded since the picture was taken) now utilizes the more typical configuration whereby departing passengers are served on an upper level, accessed via an elevated roadway, while arriving passengers utilize the lower level of the terminal.
Initially, Jacksonville International Airport was slow to expand, only serving two million passengers a year by 1982. However, additional airline service in the late 1980s and early 1990s increased the need for space in the complex. The airport served over five million passengers annually by 1999, and an expansion plan was approved in 2000. The first phase, which included rebuilding the landside terminal, the central square and main concessions area, as well as consolidating the security checkpoints in a single location, and adding more parking capacity was completed in 2004-2005. In 2007, 6,319,016 passengers were processed.
Facilities and aircraft
Jacksonville International Airport covers 7,911 acres (3,201 ha) and has two concrete runways: 8/26, 10,000 x 150 ft (3,048 x 46 m) and 14/32, 7,701 x 150 ft (2,347 x 46 m). In December 2011 the runway numbers will change to 8/26 and 14/32 due to magnetic variation.
The airport's two runways form a "V" (with the tip of the "V" pointing west). A plan exists to build two more runways, each paralleling one existing runway. The one alongside the existing southern runway will be built first. No date has been set for implementing the plan (the expectation is that construction of the third runway would begin around 2015).
In the year ending August, 2009 the airport had 94,614 aircraft operations, an average of 260 per day: 58% scheduled commercial, 23% air taxi, 13% general aviation, and 6% military. 54 aircraft are based at the airport: 15% single-engine, 13% multi-engine, 35% jet and 37% military.
Concurrent with the closure of Imeson Airport, the 125th Fighter-Interceptor Group (125 FIG) of the Florida Air National Guard (FANG) relocated to Jacksonville International Airport. Military Construction (MILCON) funds provided for the establishment of Jacksonville Air National Guard Base in the southwest quadrant of the airport and placement of USAF-style emergency arresting gear on the JAX runways. Jacksonville ANGB is literally a small air force base, albeit without the military housing, military hospital or other infrastructure of major U.S. Air Force installations. The Air National Guard provides a fully equipped USAF Crash Fire Rescue station to augment the airport's own fire department for both on-airport structural fires and aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) purposes. The base employs approximately 300 full-time military personnel (ART and AGR) and 1,000 part-time military personnel who are traditional air national guardsmen.
The host unit at Jacksonville ANGB, now known as the 125th Fighter Wing (125 FW), is an Air Combat Command (ACC)-gained organization that has historically been assigned fighters in the intercept and continental air defense mission for the region. Since establishing Jacksonville ANGB at the airport, the unit has operated the F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, F-16A/B (ADF) Fighting Falcon, F-15A/B Eagle, and now flies the F-15C and F-15D version of the F-15 Eagle. During the Cold War, at least two armed fighters were kept on quick-reaction alert at Jacksonville ANGB, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, their pilots able to get airborne within minutes. The 125 FW also maintains a 24/7 Air Superiority Alert posture with two F-15 aircraft under the wing's Detachment 1, Operating Location Alfa Alfa (OL-AA), at Homestead ARB in southern Florida in support of Operation Noble Eagle.
In addition to its F-15 Eagles, the 125 FW also operates other support aircraft at Jacksonville ANGB, to include a single C-130H Hercules and RC-26 Metroliner in multiple air and ground support roles. In addition to its Alert Facility, the base also maintains a wide range of operational, maintenance, administrative and support facilities, to include a USAF Clinic (with a flight medicine facility) and separate military fuel farm and refueling vehicles for JP-8 fuel. Jacksonville ANGB also routinely hosts transient USAF aircraft and military aircraft from other services and components.
Airlines and destinations
Jacksonville International Airport's terminal has two concourses (A and C). Concourse B was demolished on June 13, 2009.
Jacksonville International Airport has direct public transit service to Jacksonville Transportation Authority's bus network. The CT3 "AirJTA" bus connects the airport to downtown Jacksonville, with connections to Greyhound Bus Lines and to the Jacksonville Skyway monorail system.
Accidents and incidents
On December 6, 1984, PBA Flight 1039 crashed on takeoff, killing all 11 passengers and 2 crew on board.
On June 7, 1988, an Air National Guard F-16 fighter jet hit 2 wild pigs on the airport’s runway while attempting to land. The jet veered off the runway, and pilot Lt. Col. Sam Carter was forced to eject. Carter suffered minor injuries, and commented: "It’s a very inglorious way for a $16 million aircraft to come to an end". Both pigs died.
On October 1, 2013, at around 6:30 p.m. EDT, the airport was evacuated due to a suspicious package. At around 11 p.m. EDT, after the bomb squad was called and removed 'destructive' device. The airport was given the all clear and reopened.
Current expansion activities
The second phase of the expansion program is being carried out over three years, commencing in mid-2006 and is projected to cost about $170 million. The new Concourses A and C are now open; the former concourses have been demolished. Work on Concourse B was given a low priority because the capacities of Concourses A and C were more than adequate for existing demand. The expansion was designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills
The economic downturn of 2009 caused a significant decrease in passengers and flights. This prompted the JAA to commence the demolition of Concourse B in June, 2009 because it was safer and easier for the contractor. The remains of the structure will eventually become part of an airline club lounge. After the debris was removed, asphalt was laid for ground equipment parking. The concourse will be rebuilt when passenger traffic increases, which the JAA projects in 2013.
Also included is a further expansion of the parking system and a new automated baggage screening system.
Both of the newer concourses house ten gates each and have moving walkways.
Future plans call for expanding the newly built concourses by 2020 and possibly adding a people mover system to the airport, and connecting the airport with the onsite Clarion Hotel via a moving walkway.
On May 19, 2011, JetBlue Airways began service to San Juan. Jacksonville and Puerto Rico have business ties because Puerto Rico is the main destination for cargo exported through the port of Jacksonville.