Boeing will expand its presence at Cecil Airport on Jacksonville’s Westside after breaking ground on a new 150,000-square-foot Component Operations facility to service U.S. Navy and Air Force aircraft.
The facility, which will inspect and repair airplane parts, will be erected near Boeing’s 370,000-square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, under construction for a year and a half at the former U.S. Navy air base.
Boeing is already recruiting for several maintenance and support positions and anticipates creating more than 300 new job openings as new contracts and aircraft derivatives arrive. The newest facility is set to be complete early next year.
“Boeing’s continued growth at Cecil is a testament to what an important economic engine the airport has become for Jacksonville and Northeast Florida,” Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Mark Vanloh said. “As Boeing begins construction on its second campus at Cecil, it is also a testament to Northeast Florida’s workforce. Our region provides businesses with the greatest skilled and high-tech workers in the state.”
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“Boeing’s commitment to support U.S. and allied warfighters is unwavering, and these facilities will increase our capacity to provide world-class products and services to men and women in uniform,” added Boeing Global Technical Operations Vice President Kevin Mitchell. “From the smallest parts to the largest aircraft, our team stands ready to deliver what our customers need.”
The U.S. Navy shut down Naval Air Station Cecil Field in 1999, signing over the site to the city for development as a business park and commercial airport.
Boeing already has a major footprint at the airfield and aerospace facility. It transforms F/A-18 Super Hornets into flight demonstration aircraft for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angel squadron and converts retired Air Force F-16 aircraft into combat training and autonomous aerial targets. And its 23-year-old maintenance operation there employs about 350 people on Department of Defense contracts, with a center that does structural repairs for F/A-18 A-F and EA-18G flight control surfaces.
Boeing signed a 25-year lease agreement in late 2021 with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority for development at the airfield complex off 103rd Street, the first project the 370,000-square-foot complex where U.S. Navy F/A-18 jets will be overhauled. That $156 million maintenance, repair and overhaul site facility will also handle P8 and C40 support planes. It’s set to open later this year at the northeast end of the former Navy base’s sprawling runways.
The Component Operations facility that just began construction will be leased from Scannell Properties for 27 years, with an option to extend up to 50 years in total.
With the completion of these two facilities, Boeing will have more than 546,868-square-feet of facilities, about 400 people ultimately working at the 30-acre site.