Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAA Launching New 'Enterprise Division' Oct. 1; It's Charged with Growing New Revenue Sources

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAA Launching New 'Enterprise Division' Oct. 1; It's Charged with Growing New Revenue Sources

Article excerpt

Byline: GREGORY RICHARDS, The Times-Union

On Oct. 1, the Jacksonville Airport Authority is launching a new "enterprise division" to give it greater focus and speed in growing its revenue from non-traditional sources, including real estate development and aviation consulting.

This new division is being spun off from the authority's existing business development department, the duties of which will be pared back to tasks specific to the authority's four airports. Among those duties are overseeing rental car operations and food concessionaires.

John Clark, the authority's executive director, said the agency needs to make the shift because of changes in the aviation industry, specifically declining state and federal money for airports. Meanwhile, costs borne by the authority have been increasing, especially for security. The authority's annual bill for security has gone from less than $1 million several years ago to nearly $5 million today, he said.

"We have to find ways to diversify our revenue stream," Clark said.

And without doing so, he said, there's no way the authority can reach its goal of generating $100 million of annual operating revenue within five years, up from $58.3 million.

Eventually, he expects the Enterprise Division to supply 35 percent to 40 percent of the authority's revenue. Outside real estate investments and consulting supply only a small percentage now; an exact figure was not available Thursday.

Leading the new division will be Bingham Parkinson, the authority's director of business development. In his new role, Parkinson will carry the title of president, a designation Clark said was more suited to the business environment where Parkinson will be functioning. He will report directly to Clark, as do the authority's three other division heads, who are referred to as chief officers.

No other candidates were considered for the president's role. Doing so would be unnecessary, Clark said, since Parkinson, who has worked for the authority for seven years, has the necessary experience and education for the job.

The Enterprise Division will begin with just two employees: Parkinson and his assistant. …

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