Author: bell

City of Gulf Shores Airport Authority acquires and donates ARFF vehicle to City of Gulf Shores Fire Department

Gulf Shores, Alabama, January 9, 2017:  Mr. Vic Roberts, Chairman of the Airport Authority of the City Gulf Shores recently presented the City of Gulf Shores as a belated Christmas gift, a dry chemical and foam first response ARFF unit for airport use, capable of meeting Index “A” requirements to comply with Part 139 operation (commercial air service).

Scott Fuller, Airport Manager explained that “the City fire department does a remarkable job of providing equipment, trained and current personnel for airport emergency situations. However, to accommodate air carrier operations we have had to borrow or lease a dry chemical unit in order to meet the minimum equipment requirements for air carrier operations.”  “Acquisition of this unit will eliminate this ongoing challenge to dealing with our non-scheduled air charters by large aircraft, and provide for the airport to obtain full time Part 139 status.”

Mr. Fuller also stated that “surprisingly, it has now become easier and more expedient for the airport to obtain permanent certification, than the process to obtain temporary approvals of the past.”

Auburn University, City of Gulf Shores partner on academic complex in city for Auburn

Auburn University and the City of Gulf Shores are moving forward with plans to build an educational complex in Gulf Shores, Alabama, that will serve as both an academic outpost for Auburn and a resource for Gulf Coast residents.

A number of Auburn’s academic programs are expected to operate out of the new 24,000square-foot building which will be located at the corner of the Beach Express and County Road 8, adjacent to land acquired by the City of Gulf Shores for a new high school and the planned Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence.

The centerpiece of the Auburn Education Complex will be a referral center for the College of Veterinary Medicine. It will serve as an extension of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Auburn to provide specialty veterinary services and related education opportunities in South Alabama and the surrounding region.

Calvin Johnson, dean of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, said its Veterinary Teaching Hospital has engaged South Alabama and the Gulf Coast region for many years with specialty veterinary services and continuing education for veterinarians.

“We see this as an opportunity to more efficiently serve regional veterinarians and advance animal health while providing an expanded educational experience for our students and residents,” he said. By having a base of operations in Gulf Shores, Auburn can enhance its student engagement in veterinary clinical education and laboratory training in disciplines unique to Alabama’s Gulf Coast, such as marine mammal medicine, aquatic animal pathology, zoological and wildlife medicine and emergency response.

“We appreciate the opportunity to engage in Auburn University’s educational initiative in Baldwin County and to better serve the veterinary community along the Gulf Coast,” added Johnson. “We look forward to being a good academic neighbor for the proposed Coastal Alabama Center for Education Excellence and a strong community partner for the City of Gulf Shores.”

The Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence is part of a strategic plan, “Small Town, Big Beach Vision 2025 for Sustainability,” adopted by Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft and the Gulf Shores City Council in 2014. With education as a top priority, Gulf Shores plans to establish the Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence to promote access to higher education. The academic campus will feature a new high school and a new location for Faulkner State Community College, and will encourage affiliations with four-year universities.

“We are honored that Auburn University has decided to invest in Gulf Shores and are thrilled to welcome them as a significant partner in education and the future of our community,” said Craft. “This announcement is a major step forward in making the Coastal Alabama Center for Educational Excellence a reality and advances our mission to enhance the educational opportunities and services available to our residents.”

Additional Auburn programs expected to use the facility include:

  • College of Agriculture – ongoing teaching and research activities related to marine fisheries and aquaculture and ornamental horticulture
  • Auburn Aviation Center – non-credit training courses such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems certificate; specialty courses such as mapping/surveying, precision agriculture and public safety; and K-12 outreach through the Striped Wings student ambassador program and camps for various grade levels
  • Office of Research and Economic Development – coordinating research in additive manufacturing and training highly skilled technical personnel heavily focused for aerospace and providing collaboration opportunities with selected research institutions, community colleges, Airbus and its suppliers, GE Aviation and other manufacturers in the Gulf Coast region

Alabama Cooperative Extension System – plant diagnostic laboratory to support the local commercial market and homeowners, master gardener’s resource office and various 4-H activities and extension meetings for area residents

“The Gulf Shores complex supports Auburn University’s mission of serving as an academic and economic resource to Alabama,” said Auburn University Provost Tim Boosinger. “We are excited to expand our reach to another part of the state and increase our capacity to better serve the citizens of South Alabama.”

The Auburn University Board of Trustees agreed at its September meeting to authorize President Jay Gogue to execute a lease agreement with the Gulf Shores Public Education Finance Authority, who will purchase the property in Gulf Shores, build a structure and lease it to Auburn for the university’s needs.

Jack Edwards National Airport presented the Silver Award for Airport Improvements by ACPA

Gulf Shores, Alabama, January 25, 2017:   Jack Edwards National Airport was recently presented with the 2017 Silver Award for airport projects in the Reliever General Aviation category by the American Concrete Paving Association (ACPA).

The project was the construction of a new seven acre commercial heavy aircraft concrete apron to serve the growing demands for commercial charters and air service to Coastal Alabama, serving the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach resorts area.  Coastal Alabama provides over one third of the tourism economic impact to the entire state of Alabama.

Airport Manager Scott Fuller stated “with the process used, it was truly a remarkable operation to witness with the concrete pouring operation itself taking only ten days.”  Mr. Fuller credited the award to the efforts of the airport engineer, Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Canon, and the contractor, A. G. Peltz, who also received awards and were recognized for their contributions.

City of Gulf Shores recognizes Gulf Shores Airport Authority for accomplishments

Multiple projects cited

Gulf Shores, Alabama, November 4, 2015:  Mayor Robert Craft, and the City Council of Gulf Shores recognized the Gulf Shores Airport Authority for “considerable accomplishments“ at their regular meeting held Monday, September 28, 2015.   Mayor Craft cited “reaching its goal of self-sufficiency, new private developments, resolving land use issues” as “some of the reasons this Board needs to be recognized.”

Projects referenced included a new heavy aircraft parking apron and new private developments totaling over $11,000,000 in new construction.  Vic Roberts, Chairman of the Airport Authority, responded that “the Authority could not have accomplished these deeds without the support of the City”.  Airport Manager Scott Fuller stated that the Platinum Air Center and Gulf Air Center projects represent the type of operations we can partner with to transition the airport from a historically resort destination to more of an economic generator for the Gulf Shores, Orange Beach area.   Platinum is constructing a 26,000 square Hangar/Terminal adjacent to the new aircraft apron.  Gulf Air Center is constructing a new 32,000 Hangar/Office and a new T-Hangar facility adjacent to its current operations.

Fuller also stated that by transferring property to the City which could not be developed for aviation use, we were able to create a seed fund for construction of the new airport control tower.  Also underway is the design of an on airport aircraft rescue and firefighting station, currently in progress.

Congressman Bradley Byrne and invited guests will be taking part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facilities at the airport on November 20, 2015.

City of Gulf Shores Airport Authority Welcomes Salt Air Aviation Center

Gulf Shores, Alabama, June 16, 2016:  The Gulf Shores Airport Authority welcomed a new full service FBO, Salt Air Aviation Center, to Jack Edwards National Airport at a Coastal Alabama Chamber Ribbon cutting ceremony held on Thursday June 9, 2016.

From their 19,000 sq. ft. facility in the Business Aviation Park, Salt Air Aviation Center provides a full range of FBO service including fuel, ground handling, and rental aircraft.

SAAC is a Part 61 & Part 141 Flight School with an affiliation agreement with Liberty University, which provides students with the opportunity to earn their Bachelor’s degree, complete all their ratings and move into a guaranteed position as a pilot in 2 ½ years’ time.

Salt Air also provides a full range of maintenance services and is an IRMT Rotax Maintenance Center under Lockwood Aviation. Through several partnerships and distributorships, Salt Air represents a broad range of aircraft available for Sale or Lease.

Co-owners Jim and Vince Boothe, both 4th generation, Baldwin County natives, who also own and Operate Salt Air’s sister company, Flight Training of Mobile at Mobile Downtown Airport, commented on the positive reception and relationships they experienced in deciding to expand their operation to the  Coastal Alabama area, as well as the airport facilities available. “We are very excited about the opportunity and privilege of working to grow our local aviation community and bring its existing members together. Gulf Shores & Southern Baldwin County is a beautiful place to visit, live & fly!”, said Mr. V. Boothe.

Scott Fuller, Airport Manager remarked on the addition of Salt Air as fulfilling the Chamber’s and Authority’s goal to increase airport utilization and assuring first class services are provided on the airport.

For further information contact: Salt Air Aviation Center 1-251-948-0444 or ARINC 122.77