Fernandina Airport’s Master Plan Update Coming Together

Fernandina Beach airport's regional value can be increased by staying aware of what nearby airports are doing.

Fernandina Airport's Master Plan Update Coming TogetherThe Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Passero Associates are producing well-laid plans for the next 20 years.

Utilizing teamwork and discussions completed to date, Passero has created a geographical layout of the city’s airport (FHB). It is separated into eight core areas of focus, based on information from a web survey regarding FHB development. The planning team is now addressing each core area individually as it formulates its Master Plan Update:

Core 1 recommendations: Additional t-hangars; public welcome center with entryway; public fire station.
Core 2 recommendations: Leave these 8.64 acres untouched for now, with possibilities for limited access in the future.
Core 3 recommendations: Larger, corporate hangars; mixed t-hangars. These recommendations have already been presented to and accepted by the Fernandina Beach City Commission.
Core 4 recommendations: Already preserved as a golf course.
Core 5 recommendations: Build an access road and provide for additional aviation uses (hangars, t-hangars, aviation businesses). This will not impact the utility of decommissioned runway 18-36 as an overflow parking area. In fact, this area will likely be left alone for some time and designated as available for future aviation developments. No prescriptive development is planned for the FHB Master Plan Update.
Core 6 recommendations: Reserve for future non-aviation development.
Core 7 recommendations: Small parcel sizes and proximity to the runway make this area challenging, although a future marina to support Crane Island development could prove to be a good use. The TAC concurred that development in this section could be difficult and it desires these areas to be left alone.
Core 8 recommendations: Split the designation as non-aviation/aviation for the 20-year plan update, with non-aviation available in the northwest quadrant of the core and aviation developments in the southwest quadrant.

Progress also continues with the airport’s business planning via team member Dr. Dave Byers of Quadrex Aviation. Dr. Byers is working on a strategic business plan, as well as principal guiding documents and assessment of the airport’s regional value.

Most of the principal guiding documents are in place already, but the goal is to manage and enhance the appearance and development of the airport. The documents have been streamlined and will assist future developers in matching their own business plans with FHB’s expectations.

The airport’s regional value can be increased by staying aware of what nearby airports are doing. There is also plenty of potential for increasing non-aviation usage of airport property. However, this requires better vehicle access and smoother traffic in and out of the airport. The installation of a roundabout at the main entrance has been deemed a good consideration while addressing these issues.

Working on behalf of the City, Passero Associates communicates to the City of Fernandina Beach, its citizens and Municipal Airport stakeholders, the ongoing process of developing a master plan for FHB. This planning process will be periodically reported to the public in the form of meetings to be held in Fernandina Beach. The FHB Communications Plan involves conducting and documenting five public meetings and distributing concise summaries to the public via periodic press releases; email; social media; and a website: http://www.fbfl.us/airportplanningproject

For more information on the planning process, please contact Zach Nelson at (904) 757-6106 or email to FBmasterplan@yahoo.com

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