Outgoing airports director: rival airports can be diplomatic

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 07:47 PM.

One major impediment is airport access, Donovan said. Airport staffers are submitting applications for federal and state grants to build Foy Shaw Industrial Parkway, a planned access road from U.S. Highway 90 to the airport, he said.

"The next step is that road," Donovan said. "The efforts of L3, BAE, and all the other companies out there need to be improved upon, and they need that road to open up more opportunities."

Donovan said he believes more cooperation between regional commercial and general aviation airports will benefit the economic growth of all communities in the region.

"Collectively, I think, there is opportunity for us to have some diplomacy between our communities," he said. "Pensacola is a foreign trade zone because of its port. Crestview is not going to have that opportunity. How can we work together? In times past, we have let competition stifle that cooperation."

Donovan thanked attendees for the opportunity to work toward the betterment of Bob Sikes Airport.

"Somewhere down the road, people are going to look back on this town and say, 'There were people who had the leadership to prepare the future of this airport.' If it brings the jobs, it brings prosperity to our families.

"I don't want to necessarily say goodbye. Just consider me to be the first member of the western chapter of the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce."

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