Airport History (VQQ)
Cecil Airport History

cecil airport

Like many of Northeast Florida’s airports, Cecil began as a military training facility in the buildup to World War II and eventually grew into a Navy Master Jet Base with the third-longest runway in the state of Florida.  Cecil was named in honor of Commander Henry Barton Cecil, member of a prestigious U.S. military family and 1910 graduate of the Naval Academy who was killed in the 1933 crash of the Navy airship USS Akron.  Below are some of the major milestones in Cecil’s history, from its time as a substantial Naval Air Station to its current role as the premier development site in the Southeast U.S.: 


1941 - Navy opens an airfield on the west side and names it in honor of CDR Henry Barton Cecil
1945 -  Cecil Field closed by the Navy at the end of World War II
1948 - Cecil Field reopened by the Navy
1952 – 1999 – Cecil Field developed and operates as a U.S. Navy Master Jet Base
1993 – U.S. Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommends closure of NAS Cecil Field
1999 – U.S. Navy holds Decommissioning and Transition Ceremony and NAS  Cecil Field is closed
2000 – City accepts quitclaim deed from the Department of the Navy for the Jacksonville Economic      
Development Commission (JEDC)  Parcel
2001 – Demolition of more than one million square feet of obsolete structures completed
-  Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) created
2005 – Cecil Field hosts more than 1,200 flight operations associated with Super Bowl XXXIX
2006 –  Local referendum to return Cecil to the Navy for use as a master jet base voted down
2007 – Cecil Field named as FDOT’s “General Aviation airport of the Year” 
2009 - Cecil Field/Cecil Commerce Center celebrates 10 year anniversary
 - JAA hosts more than 27,000 attendees at the Cecil Field Airshow
2010 – JAA is issued an FAA Commercial Space Transportation License  
2011 – JAA undergoes a rebranding and Cecil Field is renamed Cecil Airport
-LSI, Inc. establishes Cecil Airport as company headquarters
2014 - Construction is completed on a 126,000 square foot Flightstar hangar - the largest ever built on Cecil       property.
2015 - The Taxiway Echo and Approach Road projects are completed, opening hundreds of acres of the airport’s northeast quadrant for development.
- The 60,000 square foot Spaceport Apron is constructed,purpose-built to suit the  needs of potential launch operators.
2015-2016 - Cecil welcomes the return of the Navy while NAS Jacksonville’s runways are completely rebuilt.     Over 50 fixed-wing aircraft and more than 4,000 personnel flawlessly relocate to Cecil Airport in the massive undertaking.