Taking a look at Cecil Field

November 2, 2006 22 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

We're not going to tell you which way to vote or take an official position, but we will present you with visual information that hasn't been fully covered by the local media, Better Westside and Vote Jacksonville.





The numbers shown on this recent Cecil Field aerial, show the exact location of the next 19 pictures.




1.  Normandy Blvd, traveling towards Cecil, just west of Chaffee Road.



2. 103rd Street, heading east, towards Chaffee Road and directly north of the airport runways.







3. The recent reconstruction of Aviation Avenue is one of several infrastructure improvements made in the commerce center area.  The city has spent roughly $200 million at and around Cecil, since the Navy finally left in 1999.






4. Flightstar Aircraft Services, the commerce center’s largest employer with over 400 employees, relocated from JIA to Cecil in 2005.







5. LSI (Logistic Services International) is a military training solutions company that is organized to support training courseware development and technical data support specifically for the aerospace industry and the U.S. Department of Defense.





6. Boeing's Aerospace Support Center at Cecil.  Boeing recently announced plans to lay off up to 60 of the facility's 220 workers, due to work on the Navy's E-6 contract scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Also, in July 2006, the Mayor’s office announced that a joint venture, which includes Boeing, had selected Cecil as the site of its proposed military jet assembly plant, employing up to 200 workers, if they win the contract to build the C-27J Spartan plane.  The winning bid is expected to be announced in 2007.


7. FCCJ’s Aviation Center of Excellence is housed in a 30,600sf hanger left over from the commerce center’s days as a major master jet base.


8. Northrop Grumman leases space out of this old naval warehouse building. 


If the commerce center remains and is fully developed as originally planned, both commercial and military flight operations with increase.


9. Cecil Pines, a 92 unit senior home development, was created from left over base housing.







10. A major concern, regarding the Navy’s return is residential encroachment. Through the years the city has giving approval to many residential developments that have the potential to hurt aviation oriented development at the base.  This is a photo of a new tract home development currently being constructed within the airport’s current crash zones.



11. Excluding bridges at interchanges, the Branan-Field Chaffee Expressway has already been constructed between 103rd Street and Argyle Forest Blvd. The final segment between Argyle Forest and I-10 is funded and construction will begin in 2007.




12. Dawson’s Creek, still under development, is the closest residential project being constructed near the airport. The $300,000 homes here are pretty large and give you much more per square foot compared to similar sized homes in other areas of towns not located near airports.


This recent aerial shows the section of Dawson's Creek (left) closest to Cecil's east runways.

similar sized homes in other areas of towns not located near airports.  Dawsons Creek is another example of the city approving incompatible residential uses within Cecil's current crash zones.  To two developments shown here, have been allowed to proceed, despite the ongoing discussion now at hand.






13.  The area around Cecil Field is still primarily rural, however poor planning has allowed for spot residential development.  This is a photograph of the small country road leading up to the Dawson's Creek subdivision.






14. Oakleaf Plantation Parkway is the major road through the Oakleaf DRI.



15. The westside of the Oakleaf DRI is still heavily undeveloped.  However, over the last year or two, several "Tinseltown / Gate Parkway" type condo developments and a few gated single family home subdivisions have sprouted up.



16. Another condo development off Oakleaf Plantation Parkway.



17. This Publix is located on the Duval County side of Oakleaf at Old Middleburg Road and Argyle Forest Parkway.  The Oakleaf Town Center, a 850,000sf shopping center, anchored by a Super Target, is now under construction across the street.





18. The heavily developed section of Oakleaf Plantation, lies east of Chaffee Road in Clay County.



19. Oakleaf's homes range from cookie cutter starter ups to massive custom built homes.




Much has been made about the large amount of land set aside for high skilled manufacturing jobs at the commerce center.  However, the land plan for the industrial park shows, much of the property has been set aside for various uses leaving limited space for manufacturing areas (shown in purple) and mega plant sites for high skill, high wage manufacturing jobs.  In a perfect world low wage warehouse facilities, such as the Walmart being courted by the JEDC would be directed to several private industrial parks, such as Westside, West Lake or Imeson.  This would leave the best large scale spots at Cecil available for major projects that are to large to go anywhere else in town.

If you take a close look at the commerce center land use plan, a 5th runway is proposed between the existing airport and the westside, eventually pushing flights directly over developments like Oakleaf and Dawsons Creek.  If anything needs to improve, its planning, between the Jacksonville and Clay Counties.


This recent AICUZ contour map, shown in the Florida Times Union, shows military high level noise zones extending as I-295.  However, it differs significantly from the official military AICUZ map presented to the city and Oceana's flight patters.  One reason for the difference could be because commerce center advocates attempted to estimate the sound impact of super hornets.



This is the official military AICUZ chart for Cecil Field.





Nearly a third of the city’s 439,467 residents now live in jet-noise zones that the Navy considers incompatible for housing developments. Many are in homes where roaring Navy jets drown out TVs and disrupt backyard barbecues.  Over the years, despite Navy protests, Virginia Beach has continued to allow incompatible residential development to move closer and closer to the NAS Oceana's runways.

NAS Oceana figures:


9,247 = Number of Active Duty Personnel Assigned          


2,547 = Number of Civilians Employed          


$773 million = Total Annual Payroll  (equals out to an average of $65,542 per person)


19 = Number of Squadrons Assigned (8 Tomcat; 11 Hornet)


252 = Total Number of Aircraft Assigned           


NAS Oceana Dam Neck Annex:


3,661 = Number of Active Duty Personnel Assigned          


1,368 = Number of Civilians Employed           


$344 million = Total Annual Payroll   (equals out to an average of $68,403 per person)










systems engineering services associated with command and control systems, sensor systems, intelligence and surveillance systems, telecommunications systems, combat and weapon systems, and other types of associated electronic, electromechanical, and mechanical platforms/systems.




MILCOM Systems helps the military communicate. In addition to providing technical communications systems, it offers engineering, consulting, and information technology (IT) services, and helps to design and build air traffic control systems. The company also manufactures custom-made computer workstations and metal furniture at its fabrication facility in Chesapeake, Virginia.  




AMSEC is a limited liability company jointly owned by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and Northrop Grumman. With 4,600 employees nationwide and overseas, AMSEC LLC is a full service supplier to the Navy and commercial maritime industry, providing naval architecture and marine engineering, combat and electronic systems engineering, naval ship systems assessments, maintenance engineering, acquisition program development, shipyard industrial engineering, and complete logistics services from technical manual development to provisioning documents, to spare parts management and training. 

DCS – 500 employees

DCS is a local Defense contractor




For comparisons sake, here is a recent aerial of Cecil Field.  NAS Oceana is shown at the same scale below.



This close up aerial illustrates the degree of residential encroachment at Oceana.  People live basically right next door to the master jet base's four runways.





The Lynnhaven Mall, which opened in 1976 despite Navy protests, is a prime example of encroaching development near Oceana.  According to Virginia Beach media outlets, Oceana jets have to bank into a hard 180-degree turn around the mall as they head for downwind landings at the jet base.


Nevertheless, business continues to boom at the shopping center.  With a Macy's, Dillards, JCPenney, Barnes & Noble, and Dick's Sporting Goods as anchors, the center is home to 180 stores, 16 restaurants (including Johnny Rockets, Pizzeria UNO Chicago Grill & Carrabba's) and an 18-screen AMC theater.  Its one of the largest shopping centers in the state of Virginia.






The mall can be clearly seen in this aerial, just west of NAS Oceana.



Good luck at the polls.  Regardless of what position you take on this important issue, be sure to know whats on the table by fully researching the issue and weeding through all the propaganda flying around and on the TV screens.