JACKSONVILLE – Governor Ron DeSantis On Nov. 4, 2021, announced $13 million in awards to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority new infrastructure at the Cecil Airport and Spaceport. This funding will support the construction of nearly two miles of roadway and extend the corresponding utilities to provide access to underdeveloped property located on the east side of Cecil Airport and Spaceport. This project will more than double the number of jobs available at the facility, bringing the total number of jobs at the airport and spaceport to 6,251. Of the $13 million in funding, $6 million is from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, $4 million from the Florida Department of Transportation, and Space Florida is contributing $3 million.
“We’re excited to announce a $6 million Job Growth Grant Fund award for Cecil Airport and Spaceport,” said Governor DeSantis. “When we’re making infrastructure investments, we want projects that are going to have a big impact and make a difference for the community – that is why we chose this project. With this investment, they will be able to double the number of jobs available and the economic impact that the airport and spaceport have on the community. There are a lot of great opportunities ahead at Cecil, and I know it will continue to be an economic driver for Northeast Florida.”
“I’m grateful to Governor DeSantis for continuing to support job growth in our state,” Mayor Lenny Curry said. “Not only is the Governor focused on investing in infrastructure for facilities like the Cecil Airport and Spaceport, but he’s also supporting workforce training programs in high-demand fields, like aviation. These initiatives will continue to move our state forward and provide more opportunities for our citizens.”
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, we are continuing to strengthen Florida’s infrastructure in order to attract new business and expand the state’s workforce by creating new opportunities for Floridians,” said Secretary Dane Eagle of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). “This award will support Cecil Airport’s development of existing infrastructure and allow them to access undeveloped property, which is necessary for future expansion and job growth.”
"This award is an example of how strengthening Florida's infrastructure reinforces our communities," said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault. "This investment will create high-quality jobs and generate equitable economic opportunity for Floridians while helping to spur innovation. Under Governor DeSantis' leadership, we are making lasting investments in Florida's future."
“This project will open hundreds of acres at the Cecil Airport and Spaceport to the burgeoning aerospace marketplace,” said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. “Jacksonville’s profile in that marketplace highlights the expansion of the Florida Spaceports System, and further represents the evolution of the partnership between Space Florida and Cecil. We look forward to what’s next in the future for Northeast Florida.”
“This infrastructure project at Cecil Airport demonstrates what can happen when great leaders get together”, said Senator Aaron Bean. “Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis, the industrial development within the aviation and aerospace sectors will bring significant, long-term job creation and capital investments to our area. With FDOT, Space Florida, COJ, and JAA investment into this project, the reality of a Cecil Spaceport is closer than ever.”
“I want to thank the governor for his incredibly generous investment in House District 15 and Northeast Florida,” said Florida House Representative Wyman Duggan. “This visionary investment in critical infrastructure for Cecil Spaceport sets the stage for transformational economic development activity in the commercial space industry in Northeast Florida.”
“Florida is a world leader in the aviation and aerospace industries,” said Florida House Representative Cord Byrd. “This investment in Cecil Airport by the State, City of Jacksonville, and Space Florida will keep Florida the gateway to the stars.”
The funding will allow for the design and construction of a utility corridor and roadway project at Cecil Airport and will facilitate the expansion of existing maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities. This development will benefit multiple companies, as well as provide road access and fire suppression to Cecil Spaceport. In turn, this project will attract new aerospace and commercial space tenants, while continuing to support the growth of existing companies and bolstering the local economy surrounding Cecil Airport.
The Florida Job Growth Grant Fund is an economic development program designed to promote public infrastructure and workforce training across the state. Proposals are reviewed by DEO and EFI and chosen by the Governor to meet the demands for workforce training or infrastructure needs in communities around the state.
In 2020-21, $74 million in awards was appropriated for projects that focus on rapidly developing a highly skilled workforce and on infrastructure initiatives that attract businesses, create jobs, and promote economic growth. DEO and EFI are currently accepting proposals. For more information, click here.
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