JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Another push to expand the runway at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport is underway.
Those in favor say the expansion is overdue because of business and job opportunities it would bring. Meanwhile, those opposed say it will negatively impact hundreds of families close by, and could lower property values.
Marshall Wood, marketing director of a charter company at Craig, is for the expansion. He's also the Director of CrossOverJacksonville, a Christian organization that promotes faith, family and free enterprise.
"As a result of our failure to do what all other similarly sized cities have done, we have lost critical revenue to St. Johns County, we have failed to create jobs had the runway length increased, and we have allowed the Arlington area in particular to simply erode," he said.
The runway hasn't been expanded because of a line in the city's Comprehensive Plan. Adopted in 1990, it keeps the runway at Craig at about 4,000 feet.
Lad Hawkins is a city planner and also President of the Greater Arlington Civic Council. In a statement to First Coast News, Hawkins said in part:
" ... For more than 23 years now, our Comprehensive Plan has clearly stated that runways at Craig Field should not be expanded ... The thousands of people surrounding Craig Field have every right to expect Jacksonville to follow our city's plan."
Hawkins went on to tell First Coast News lengthening the runway by the proposed 2,000 feet would increase the risk for homes nearby in the event of a crash and could lower property values.
Hawkins said the city has a plan and should stick to it.