The Navy’s newest outlying landing field will be open for helicopter training operations beginning Jan. 30, after years of collaboration and hard work by both Escambia County and the U.S. Navy.
In an historic agreement, Escambia County will hand over the keys to Navy outlying landing field Site X in Santa Rosa County, thus opening the site for operations. The Navy will cease operations at NOLF Site 8 in Escambia County, and turn the property over to the County in a unique real estate land exchange.
The President signed the National Defense Authorization Act in 2015 that authorized the land exchange. In June 2016, the Navy and Escambia County signed a land exchange agreement to formalize the intentions to transfer the property at Site 8 to the County, in exchange for a suitable landing field to replace Site 8.
Efforts to build a landing field began in 2016. Naval Facilities Southeast Region in Jacksonville, Navy Installations Command and Whiting Field coordinated with Escambia County project managers to ensure requirements for the training mission at NAS Whiting Field were met.
This land exchange results in a win-win situation that provides desirable commercial property to Escambia County, and a functional new outlying landing field to Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton.
Exchange of the signed deeds, which is the act that finalizes change of ownership for both properties is slated for Jan. 29, and a ribbon cutting for NOLF Site X is scheduled for Jan. 30.