SEBASTIAN -- Skydive Sebastian officials say they will now consider a city proposal to move their landing zone after initially objecting to the move. Jim Iannaccone, a representative of Skydive Sebastian, said the organization initially objected to the airport master plan, which requires the move, "because they hadn't had an opportunity to examine or discuss the viability of the northwest corner as a landing area."
Iannaccone said Skydive Sebastian is now willing to look at the city's offer.
"In light of the city's recent offer, Skydive is willing to look at and discuss the city's plans in the hope of finding a mutually beneficial solution," he said.
In a letter to the city council last week, City Manager Terrence Moore said the city will reserve land adjacent to the northwestern landing zones if Skydive Sebastian decides to move its operation to the northwestern area of the airport.
Recently, the Sebastian city council voted to pass the airport master plan, which requires the moving of Skydive's landing zone to the northwestern part of the airport.
It was a move Skydive Sebastian officials initially objected to because they said it would inconvenience skydivers by making them travel 1,500 feet back to the main facility after a jump.
Skydive officials said the move would turn away potential skydivers and hurt Skydive Sebastian's business.
Skydive Sebastian officials also said it is important to have a landing zone adjacent to the skydive facilities to ensure Skydive Sebastian's survival.
The current drop zone is adjacent to the Skydive Sebastian facilities.
Jason Milewski, Sebastian Municipal Airport manager, said the northwest section of the airport has been deemed the safest spot by the Federal Aviation Administration for skydivers to land.
Milewski added it would be safer because skydivers won't be landing near the east-west runway when the runway is reopened.
City officials argue that leaving the drop zone where it is now would endanger skydivers because airplanes would be taking off and landing nearby.
~ FLORIDA TODAY