When Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Mark VanLoh was a child in South Dakota, the airport in Sioux Falls was his playground.
“We used to go to the airport on Sundays after church to eat. We’d go watch the airplanes. My sister and I would run up and down the concourses,” VanLoh said.
He traces his 35-year career in aviation back to a single moment on the runway in his hometown — President John F. Kennedy’s arrival on Air Force One.
“I was 4 or 5. I remember (I was) on my dad’s shoulders right up to him at the fence at the airport,” VanLoh said. “I just love aviation.”
The JAA owns and manages the area’s airports including Jacksonville International Airport, Cecil Airport/Spaceport, Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport and Herlong Recreational Airport.
For VanLoh, the future of Jacksonville International Airport – JAX – and JAA will be defined by securing nonstop service to the West Coast, finding the first direct flight to a European destination and corporate expansion — using JAA as a jobs recruitment tool for Jacksonville.
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