March 18, 2018


Ground Control - Smaller Public Airports in the Orlando Area

Diane Sears | 5/1/2010

Central Florida
With ups and downs in air travel in recent years, smaller public airports around central Florida have looked for ways to sustain their operations — including many that have nothing to do with flying people around. Here’s a look at some airports’ economic development projects.

1) Leesburg International

Acres: 850

Commercial airlines: Corporate and private only

Annual flights (in and out): 60,000

Projects: Businesses leasing airport space employ about 350 and include aviation companies plus restaurants, an auto dealership, an urgent-care medical facility and a furniture and carpet company. The ultimate goal, airport manager Charlie Weller says, is to bring passenger service to Leesburg, possibly in the next five to 10 years.

Leesburg International
The airport extended its longest airstrip from 5,000 to 6,300 feet
2) Kissimmee Gateway

Acres: 100

Commercial airlines: Corporate and private only

Annual flights (in and out): 130,000

Projects: Sunstate Aviation and the airport are taking bids this spring to build a 10,000-sq.-ft. hangar and 5,000-sq.-ft. office/classroom facility. Another flight school, Orlando Flight Training, expands at the city-owned airport this summer. Last October, the airport dedicated about 2,000 square feet of a $1.1-million new hangar for an extension of the Kissimmee Air Museum; the remaining 12,000 square feet of space is for companies to lease.

Kissimmee Gateway
New extension of the Kissimmee Air Museum
3) Daytona Beach International

Acres: 2,000

Commercial airlines: US Airways and Delta

Annual flights (in and out): 311,801

Projects: The Volusia County-owned airport houses Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which is undergoing $125 million in improvements. Another tenant, Daytona International Speedway, is building Daytona Live!, a 71-acre complex expected to bring additional hotels and retail to the area. Rick Karl, the airport’s new executive director, and Stephen Cooke, the airport’s business development director, say they’re looking at how to bring together the area’s five colleges to develop incubator sites.

Daytona Beach International
Rendering of Embry-Riddle improvements
4) Melbourne International

Acres: 2,450

Commercial airlines: Delta, Delta Connection, Direct Air, US Airways, Baer Air

Annual flights (in and out): 164,000

Projects: Aircraft manufacturer Embraer has a new facility at the city-owned airport and plans to add 200 jobs when it opens in 2011. Other tenants in the airport’s 1,100-acre industrial complex include Northrop Grumman, Harris, General Electric, L-3 Communications, DRS and Rockwell Collins. Florida Institute of Technology plans to jointly develop 100 acres of the airport’s industrial complex into a research park. One of its key tenants will be the Florida Technology Research and Development Authority’s Business Innovation Center, an incubator created in 2007.

Melbourne International
Rendering of Embraer’s new facility [Rendering: BRPH Architects|Engineers]

Tags: Central

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