The Jacksonville Aviation Authority
(JAA) is the independent government agency that owns and operates Jacksonville’s Airport System, including the runways, hangars, terminal building, air cargo area, airport grounds and road connections to the public highway system. JAA maintains these facilities and manages their overall use. Private airline companies, rental car companies and concessionaires in the terminal pay lease and rental fees to JAA in order to operate out of the airport. This revenue funds the day-to-day operations so that public tax dollars are not required. JAA has its own airport police force.
- Jacksonville International Airport is the major regional passenger air service provider, featuring non-stop flights to dozens of major U.S. cities. The facility was opened in 1968 and a major renovation was begun in 2007.
- Craig Municipal Airport, centrally located near Jacksonville's suburban business centers, is a general aviation field used by busy corporate travelers and operators of small aircraft. However, the 4,000 foot runways are considered small for jets and plans to extend them have been opposed by nearby residents for years.
- Herlong Airport, on the city's west side, is ideally suited as a general aviation field and prime recreational site for small private planes, hot air balloons, gliders, ultralights, parachuting and helicopters.
- Cecil Field, the air station that the Navy abandoned in 1999 as part of the wave of base closures of 1993, is located approximately 15 miles west of downtown Jacksonville. The newest addition to the Jacksonville airport system, Cecil Field is an ideal site for aviation maintenance, manufacturing and repair and overhaul operations.
Jacksonville airports were under the purview of the Port Authority since the Jacksonville Port Authority
(JPA) was created by a special act of the Florida Legislature in 1963
Their charter directed the authority to develop, maintain and market Jacksonville's port facilities while operating like a business. In May 2001, the Florida State Legislature approved the restructuring of the Jacksonville Port Authority into two separate entities (City J-Bill-1104);
the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) and the Jacksonville Seaport Authority
, effective October 1, 2001