Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAA Considers Slight Name Change

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAA Considers Slight Name Change

Article excerpt

Byline: GREGORY RICHARDS, The Times-Union

The Jacksonville Airport Authority may soon get a new name -- "Jacksonville Aviation Authority."

JAA board member Jack Demetree suggested the change at the authority's monthly board meeting Feb. 23. Simply saying "airport authority", he said, doesn't recognize that the JAA actually oversees four airports: Cecil Field and Herlong Airport on the Westside; Craig Airport on the Southside; and Jacksonville International Airport on the Northside. Many people assume JAA only oversees JIA.

"When you say aviation authority, that covers it all," says Demetree, who joined the airport board in November.

As a whole, the board welcomed the suggestion. "I like the idea," said JAA board chairman Jim McCollum. "I think it does better reflect what we do."

Such a change would have to be approved by the state, which carved the JAA out of the Jacksonville Port Authority in 2001. McCollum directed the JAA's staff and attorneys to research how to best make the switch, and the pros and cons of doing so. One suggested way of changing the name was through legislation working its way through the Florida Legislature that amends the JAA's charter following the 2001 split, said Gayle Petrie, an attorney with the city's Office of General Counsel.

JAA Executive Director John Clark expressed concern that the board was rushing into the change. He said he wanted time to research how the new name might affect the authority from a branding standpoint. "There has been quite an effort to create a brand," Clark said.

McCollum said that if a decision is made to change the name, the switch to Jacksonville Aviation Authority may go into effect Jan. 1, 2005, to allow for a transition.

Name changes among Jacksonville public authorities are not new. The Legislature formally changed the JPA's name from the Jacksonville Seaport Authority back to the Jacksonville Port Authority last July. …

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