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Thu, Jan 31, 2013

St. Augustine, FL Airport Opens Full-Runway-Length Taxiway

Final Phase Of The Airport's Runway And Taxiway Improvement Program

The final segment of an overall runway and taxiway improvement program at Northeast Florida Regional Airport (KSGJ) in St. Augustine, FL, has been completed. The last section of taxiway along the entire length of the primary 8,000 foot runway is now open for use.

Airport Authority Chairman Carl Youman told the Historic City News that the longer taxiway enhances safety at the airport, and will assist in handling the more than 120,000 operations that occur at KSGJ each year.

The improvements were completed with funding through a $6.5 million AIP grant, matched at 5 percent by state and local funding. Other phases of the program completed under the grant were restoration of the shoreline along the main runway, as well as environmental mitigation in the adjacent salt water marsh.

Airport Authority Executive Director Ed Wuellner said the completion of the projects will "help the Northeast Florida Regional Airport accomplish its long-term goals." He said that the new taxiway will mean safer and more sustainable airport operations in the region.

The airport has for years tried to establish regular commercial air service for St. Augustine and St. Johns County. Skybus operated a non-stop from St. Augustine to Columbus, OH, for a brief time beginning in 2007. The nearest scheduled airline service to St. Augustine is currently Jacksonville International to the north, and Daytona to the south. Airport officials said last year that they were in talks with multiple carriers about KSGJ, but no service has been established, and according to the St. Augustine Record, at least one board member advocates abandoning the effort to attract an airline, and changing the name of the airport back to St. Augustine Airport.

(ANN staff photo sunrise at Northeast Florida Regional Airport)

FMI: www.flynfra.com

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