Rotary Club of Fernandina Beach
Club 4360, District 6970

 
 
Recently the Fernandina Beach Rotary Club welcomed as its guest speaker Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO and Executive Director Steven Grossman. Grossman, who began his job at JAA in 2009, oversees operations management, maintenance, development and marketing for all of JAA’s assets from Jacksonville International Airport to Cecil Commerce Center. Grossman stressed that JAA receives no funding from the City of Jacksonville and, in fact, pays the city more than $3 million a year for such services as fire-rescue. He said JAA’s assets are a sizeable economic engine for the region having a $3 billion financial impact. One of its largest and most profitable assets is Cecil Commerce Center, formerly Naval Air Station Cecil Field, which the federal government turned over to the city in 1993. Since that time, JAA has overseen development of Cecil’s 8,300 acres by leasing all of the 1.3 million square feet of available space while building an additional 100,000 square feet in seven new hangars. Cecil is recognized as one of the most successful base conversion projects in the U.S. and has attracted more than 30 tenants with some 3,000 employees. Cecil Commerce Center has been designated by the federal government as a Space Port suitable for horizontal launch of aircraft into suborbital flight, giving the Center an advantage in future aviation endeavors such as satellite launches, science experimentation and intercontinental air travel. Grossman closed by saying that JAA’s job is to make sure all of its assets – from its airports to its Space Port – are ready to move forward into the future.