An airport grows in northeast Florida

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Palatka Municipal Airport in Florida recently broke ground on a long-awaited new terminal building, new t-hangars, Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS III-P/T), taxiway rehabilitation, and many related improvements.

With the collaboration city and airport staff and event sponsors Seminole Electric and Georgia Pacific, a celebration was held with much fanfare in perfect weather, according to business operations manager Donna Franklin. The ceremony, which featured Congressman John Mica, ended with “a smoking aerobatic team flyover, which added the most appropriate finale,” Franklin said.

The large audience included state and local dignitaries, contracting and engineering representatives, past and current Airport Advisory Board members, airport tenants and customers, and citizens of Palatka, whose Mayor Karl Flagg presided.

Keynote speaker Mica spoke of past improvement projects and his working relationship with local leaders, praising their vision. The Congressman remembered the airport’s namesake, World War II Air Force Lt. Jasper Kennedy “Kay” Larkin, with Larkin’s image resting at the foot at the podium. He explained that, through teamwork and effort, changes have come about that improve the airport and its infrastructure, and promote the local economy.

“We encourage visitors to come out often to see the continuing progress as construction on all these projects proceeds,” Franklin said. Pilots planning flights to Palatka (28J) should check for NOTAMs, she pointed out, as portions of pavement will be “in and out of closure as construction proceeds.”

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