By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
The Navy has asked the FAA to close down a small airport close to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia, after a pair of skydivers inadvertently landed on their property last month. Rear Adm. John C. Scorby, commander of the Navy's Southeast Region, sent a letter on Tuesday to the FAA's district office, outlining the Navy's concerns. Seven skydivers from St. Mary's Airport have landed on the base in the last three years, including the two on Aug. 12, Scorby said. He said such landings could potentially cause "needlessly dangerous reactive responses." The skydiving operator, The Jumping Place, has already moved to another airport while it looks for a new permanent base.
City councilman Jim Gant told the Florida Times-Union that that city would like to relocate the airport, and land is available, but there is no money to make it happen. The airport, which should be an asset to the city, instead has become a "spear in the city's side and somebody twists it every week," he said. He added that since the Navy base brings in $600 million a year, and the airport is home to "maybe a dozen planes," if it comes to a choice between the airport and the Navy, he expects the Navy will win.