Space & Defense Technologies

Boeing Announces Extended Lease, 330 Jobs for Cecil Airport

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services, announced Thursday its plans to expand its existing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations in Jacksonville. The plans include the creation of 334 new jobs and a 25-year lease agreement with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) to grow at its Cecil Field site.

The new facilities, which will include nearly 270,000 square feet of hangar space and more than 100,000 square feet of office and support shop space, will be constructed by JAA and leased to Boeing to replace the existing Boeing Cecil Field site footprint. Construction is expected to begin fall 2021 and competed in January 2024.

Boeing has been operating at Cecil Field since 1999 and is one of the company’s longest standing locations. Its Jacksonville operations support U.S. government contracts for the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The location is home to a Flight Control Repair Center that provides structural repairs to F/A-18 A-F and EA-18G flight control surfaces, and where the Boeing team converts F/A-18 Super Hornets into flight demonstration aircraft for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angel squadron.

Additionally, the Jacksonville location supports the U.S. Air Force QF-16 program, which converts retired F-16s into the next generation of combat training and testing for autonomous aerial targets.

“This investment in facility improvements supports our ability to deliver on current and future defense services work at the Cecil Field site and aligns with Boeing’s infrastructure optimization efforts,” said Warren Helm, Boeing Cecil Field site leader. “We collaborate continuously with our U.S. defense customers to ensure our modification capabilities can support their readiness objectives in strategic locations around the globe. This new agreement builds upon that commitment.”

Cecil Field, a former U.S. Navy base, was decommissioned and transferred to JAA in 1999, and along with Cecil Airport, is a haven for aeronautical, manufacturing and logistics business. The airport is equipped with four runways including Florida’s third-longest runway at 12,500 feet and is home to Cecil Spaceport, providing fertile ground for aerospace businesses to grow.

JAA CEO Mark VanLoh reiterated the economic prosperity of the asset. “The Authority developed Cecil into one of the preeminent airports for aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul in the United States,” said VanLoh.