July 8, 2014

Suwannee County Airport turns 50

July 8, 2014 By Dana Brindle Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak —

Suwannee County Airport (SCA) is located approximately two miles west of Live Oak in North Central Florida halfway between Tallahassee and Jacksonville. Interstate 75 provides primary highway access to the airport from the north and the south, and Interstate 10 provides access from the east and the west.

SCA is the hub for the Florida Wilderness Trail and the historic Suwannee River which surrounds the county on three sides. Known for it’s multitude of beautiful natural springs, the area offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities including diving, canoeing, and horseback riding.

Unique location

SCA has approximately 220 acres with one runway, 4,037 feet long by 75 feet wide, lighted with pilot-activated lights. The airport is unique for traffic flow because it is almost centered in a diamond of Valdosta, Georgia to the north, Tallahassee to the west, Gainesville to the south and Jacksonville to the east. We currently have 32 T-hangars and one corporate hangar, with more hangars planned for the future.

Suwannee County owns and operates the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the airport, which employs two people and provides services such as aviation fuel (100LL at present), T-hangars and tie-downs. An independent business, AeroQuest, operates a shop providing major and minor airframe and power plant repairs. The owner employs two, and sometimes three, part-time employees. For those who need to conduct business, the airport services the cities of Live Oak, Jasper, Madison, Lee and Branford.

The largest planes that use the airport are King Air and Gulfstream jets. The airport primarily serves flight training, recreational/sport, and business related activities.

Fifty years of service

SCA was originally established in 1964 as an agricultural operation airport with a turf runway less than 3,000 feet long. Over the years, we have steadily progressed from turf to pavement, built a new terminal building in 1991, and extended the runway to 4,037 feet. We upgraded lighting with Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights and new runway lighting and signage. Runway rehabilitation was completed in 2007 with fresh markings of centerlines and aim points and hold short markings. In 2013, we installed a state-of-the-art surveillance camera system. In January, we completed apron rehabilitation and installation of high mast apron lighting.

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