Jacksonville International Airport

New aviation history gallery at Jacksonville Int’l Airport

In Florida, Jacksonville International Airport has a new exhibit featuring the area’s aviation milestones and memorabilia from an era when Florida was sparsely populated.

The exhibit starts its story with January 28, 1878, when a hot air balloon containing one man was sighted floating a “mile high” over the city at 5:00 p.m. and ends on the eve of World War II, when the military created bases bigger than most Florida cities.

 

In addition to a wall mural noting historical highlights and photos of significant events in Jacksonville’s aviation history, seven cases display a variety of aviation artifacts. There are also interactive monitors with additional  information about the area’s  aviation history.

Jacksonville Takes Flight: North Florida aviation history from 1878 to 1941” is located next to the center courtyard food court, where there’s also a great window for viewing modern day airfield activity.

 

Airport officials say this is just Phase 1 of the gallery exhibit. Phase II will begin its story at the end of World War II and conclude with aviation milestones leading up to the present day. Look for that to be completed in 2018, when JAX celebrates its 50th anniversary.

 

Tidbits for travelers: JAX getting jazzed

The 2010 Jacksonville Jazz Festival takes place Friday, May 28, through Sunday, May 30, in downtown Jacksonville, Florida.  With Patti Labelle, Tito Puente Jr., the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Buckwheat Zydeco on the line-up, it looks like it will be a fine event.

But today, May 24th, before the official festival even gets started, the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) will be kicking off its own jazz festival with live music and visual art displays in the center courtyard of the airport.  The airport’s jazz festival continues through Sunday, May 30 with a line-up that includes local acts such as Class Act, PM Experience, Robbie Eccles, Aaron Bing, The Mike Bernos Band and Roger Glover, the “River City Music Man.”

Airports and airlines recycle some surprising stuff

For my At the Airport column in USATODAY.com this month I offered a fun round-up of items being recycled by airports and airlines in an effort to be help save the earth and, in some cases, to save some serious money.

You can read the full column, For airports and airlines, creative recyling  brings cost savings, on the USA TODAY website but  briefly, the list I included ranges from airports that recycle, reuse or re-purpose everything from old metal detectors, used de-icing fluid and concrete from old runways to creative partnerships between airports or airlines and local non-profits and green businesses. 

Two examples:

Jacksonville International Airport is working with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on a project to turn tree clippings into food. The zoo needs a reliable year-round source of fresh “browse,” the natural vegetation eaten by many of the zoo’s large mammals. The grounds around the airport are full of browse-worthy trees and shrubs that could do with some regular clipping.  So browse harvested at the airport in the morning now becomes dinner for giraffe, elephants and great apes at the zoo;

And old seat covers from Delta and re-branded Northwest airplanes that could have ended up in a landfill somewhere were instead donated to Tierra Ideas, a small North Carolina company that is recycling the bags as messenger bags, laptop cases and other travel accessories with patterns that will very familiar to frequent fliers on those airlines.

A Delta spokesperson says so far Delta has donated about 5,873 pounds of fabric from an estimated 20,000 seat covers. “…Enough fabric to cover 92 of Delta’s 767-300ER aircraft.”

And – here’s something that didn’t fit in the column: On May 17th, Purdue University Airport, in West Lafayette, IN will be recyling this 737 aircraft.

“Shredding it,” is the term Betty Stansbury of Purdue University uses:

The aircraft is a 41 year old Boeing 737-200 donated to the University by United Airlines fifteen years ago for research and training purposes in Purdue’s  Aviation Technology Program. 

“The plane has reached the end of its useful life, and will be shredded starting on Monday May 17th. ….We use a large cutting device, called a shearer, to chew the plane into smaller pieces, which are placed in metal containers for transportation, melting and recycling.”

Jacksonville Airport feeds zoo animals

Recycling is all the rage at airports these days.

Colored bins marked glass, paper and trash are lined up in most gate areas.

Used cooking oil from many food courts is transformed into fuel.

And at airports in Seattle and Portland, composted coffee grounds become part of the landscaping.

Now the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) has come up with a creative way to recycle yard waste and help animals.

The airport has teamed up with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to provide tree clippings and shrubbery, called browse, [word of the day!] for the zoo’s animals.

Turns out that the airport grounds are an ideal source of the natural vegetation eaten by mammals such as giraffe, elephant, okapi and great apes.  The airport was having a hard time finding enough local ‘browse’ for its hungry critters, and the airport had plenty to spare.

Now, airport officials say, visitors to the giraffe and elephant exhibits, especially, will get to see the animals eating the browse collected that morning from airport property.

Nice!

Airports celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day pops up on a Sunday this year, and that gives everyone a full weekend to celebrate the holiday.

This year, even airports are getting in on the action.

Today, Friday, Feb 12th,  the Food and Shops at New York’s LaGuardia Airport will be handing out free chocolate kisses in the Central Terminal between 11 am and 4 pm. All the shops are gussied up for the holiday as well, with plenty of grab ‘n’ go treats for your sweetie.

(Photo courtesy Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport)

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has a great Sweetheart Jewelry exhibit on loan from the National Museum of Patriotism.

On Sunday, volunteers at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) will be handing out about 1,000 red carnations (they do that on Mother’s Day as well)

And Singapore’s Changi Airport is celebrating the holiday with a bouquet’s worth of giant, Valentine’s Day decorations scattered throughout the terminals.

(Photos courtesy Changi Airport Group)

Happy Valentine’s Day!