Airport wins environmental project of the year

Chairman Carl Youman announced to Historic City News reporters that the St Johns County Airport Authority has received the “2012 General Aviation Airport Environmental Project of the Year” award by the Florida Airports Council.

Since the award’s inception in 2007, North Florida Regional Airport at St Augustine is the only general aviation airport in the state to become a two-time winner.

“The award serves to recognize the Authority’s environmental efforts associated with the Runway Safety Area Stabilization and Mitigation project at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport,” Youman told reporters. “The Airport Council in presenting the award lauded the Authority’s efforts in balancing the needs of the airport with adjacent environmentally sensitive coastal marsh area.”

Youman said that he is especially pleased to be the first to receive the Environmental Project of the Year award twice because the Council recently renamed it to honor the 20-year environmental advocacy efforts of recently retired Northeast Florida Regional Airport staff member, Bryan Cooper.

The award was presented two weeks ago at the Council’s annual meeting; held this year in Naples, Florida.

As a part of the project mitigation effort, the airport returned 17 acres of spoil-island area to salt-water marsh habitat. The effort required 14 separate permit approval actions in order to accomplish. The project required more than 5 years of study, permitting and construction to complete.

“We are grateful to the many state and federal permitting agencies and the outstanding consulting team led by Passero Associates for all their efforts,” says James Werter, Secretary-Treasurer of the Airport Authority. “Further, we thank the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation for the funding assistance required to accomplish this huge undertaking.”

Werter went on to praise the construction efforts of Turnbull Environmental Contractors of St Augustine for their dedication to assuring that all aspects of the project met or exceeded the permitted job requirements.

The members of the St Johns County Airport Authority are elected to four-year terms. They serve without remuneration. The Airport Authority is chartered by the Florida Legislature for the purpose of operating and developing the Northeast Florida Regional Airport on behalf of the citizens of St Johns County.

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