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County Breaks Ground on 5,500-ft Runway at Airport to Accommodate Larger Corporate Jets

| February 6, 2017

The groundbreaking ceremony today took place under a tent situated at the center of what will be the future runway.
(© FlaglerLive)

More than a decade after it was first considered, ground broke this afternoon on a 5,500-foot runway at the Flagler County Executive Airport, a year-long project that will allow larger corporate jets to use the airport while also creating more space for construction at the north end of the property, which is built out. County government considers both objectives key in fomenting more economic activity through an airport that over the past six years has become the single-most successful business hub.

The new runway Halifax Paving will build over the next 350 days, employing 20 to 30 people during that span, will replace an existing runway that falls just short of the 5,000-foot threshold, thus limiting the sort of jets that may use the airport. With the new runway, “I could land a 737 here if we had to,” Airport Director Roy Sieger said. Not that he’ll have to: traffic will still be limited to general aviation rather than commercial airliners.

The existing runway will be milled and repaved as a taxiway when the new one is finished. The new runway will be 100 feet wide and will consists of a base of 8 inches of lime rock and 4 inches of asphalt. The project also entails building a 760-foot culvert. About 90 percent of the The $12.1 million project is underwritten by the Federal Aviation Administration, with the Department of Transportation also paying a share, and 2 percent paid out of the airport’s fund. None of the money, County Administrator Craig Coffey said, involves county property tax revenue, sales tax or gas tax revenue. The $12.1 million is only the construction cost. The county also spent $1.9 million to acquire 117 acres, $1.3 million to mitigate for wetlands (that is, buy and protect wetlands elsewhere to replace wetlands it will destroy to build the runway), and $700,000 to design the project.

Airport Director Roy Sieger

Airport Director Roy Sieger today. (© FlaglerLive)

“This is the single largest project that the airport has ever done,” Sieger said, at least in the eight years that he’s been there. The airport during that span has seen a total of $25 million in projects. This one will raise that total to $37 million, Sieger said.

The first part of the project, which involves 183 acres, entails cutting down trees from dozens of acres at the east and west ends of the runway. A timbering company was hired for the job and the timber has already been sold for about $30,000.

Beyond the runway, the project “is going to open up a whole new development area potentially,” Coffey said. “We’re built out on this side of the runway,” he said, pointing to the north end, where several businesses have filled up almost every square foot of available space in several buildings. “It’s going to open up a whole bunch of acreage on the north side.” The initial aim is to add additional hangar space.

The county organized today’s ceremonial groundbreaking the way local governments usually do at the start of infrastructure projects, with officials and business leaders invited to attend the proceedings under a tent then take part in the shoveling of dirt. In this case, Sieger had cleverly positioned the tent squarely in the middle of the imaginary line that will become the center line of the new runway, which those in attendance could nevertheless picture through a dozen or so stakes planted at distant intervals, up and down the grassy ground that will become the runway.

County commissioners past and present (among them ex-commissioners Barbara Revels, fresh from being appointed this morning to the county’s economic development advisory board, and George Hanns), were present, as was a Flagler Beach city commissioner and members of the business community, including Jimmy Millhollin, the chairman of the Flagler Chamber of Commerce board. But no officials from Palm Coast government were present.

airport groundbreaking

(© FlaglerLive)

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11 Responses for “County Breaks Ground on 5,500-ft Runway at Airport to Accommodate Larger Corporate Jets”

  1. USA Lover says:

    Are we expecting the World Series,Super Bowl or a NATO conference? That’s right folks,it’s the FAA,aka,the Federal Government. The lavish spending continues….smh.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just what we need to help out their friends and buddies. This will not benefit the citizens of this county and the people deserve and need to be taken care of first. What is being done to take care of homeless people to keep them off the street? What is being done to aid the seniors and disabled? This is an example of a county administrator and county commissioners being out of touch. The county administrator must be leading the commissioner’s around by the nose. I can think of a lot more that we need that will help far more people thank this.

  3. Fredrick says:

    And let the complaining about airport noise by those who purchased their homes………wait for it……………………………………………………………………………………………….. next to an airport.

  4. woodchuck says:

    Can’t spend taxpayer money fast enough.

  5. BlueJammers says:

    Isn’t that just dandy! Thanks, Roy! Maybe you can get a military base here, too!

    I now have piper cubs flying over my house every five minutes and and thanks to these idiots I can soon enjoy Lear jets, too! I’m so happy I could just move anywhere but Palm Coast.

  6. Capval says:

    Yes, bring on the jet-whine–music to my ears! Great improvement, proud of our beloved KFIN.

  7. Anonymous says:

    @ BlueJammers says:
    February 6, 2017 at 10:19 pm
    Isn’t that just dandy! Thanks, Roy! Maybe you can get a military base here, too!

    UMM We already have one at the Flagler Executive Airport And a NEW larger facility is already under construction on County land agioning to the Airport

  8. Wishful Thinking says:

    A lot of it is to make it easy for Tourist Development…staff et al to land right next to their fancy office at FIN when returning from their assinine trips all over the country

  9. woodchuck says:

    Now the tax payers can buy Landon a plane to travel with.

  10. palmcoaster says:

    What happens if Trump also pulls the plug on this one, like he did in the Matthews disaster relief funds? I do not use or care to fund this wealthy aircraft owners runway!

  11. EX-ATCer says:

    I’ve worker for the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller for 26 years and trust me this is a pile of crap. 12 million dollars to build a new runway that will only be 500′ longer then the current runway! Roy Sieger says “I could land a B737 here if I wanted to” but he won’t have to because it will be limited to general aviation aircraft and not commercial air carriers! Yeah right if you believe that I have a few some prime real estate to sell you real cheap. I guess that beautiful Airport just down the road in Daytona is way to far out of the way for these general aviation private jets to land or use and which will cause more noise then some of the newer air carrier aircraft. Just some more crap from people who know nothing or want to tell you one thing when they have other plans in mind! What a joke…..

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