WEST BAY — The demand for private air travel at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) has pushed ECP’s fixed base operator (FBO) for more space.
At a meeting Wednesday, the Airport Authority approved a new, larger lease agreement for Sheltair, which provides services for general aviation, or all non-commercial flights, at ECP.
“Sheltair has seen a demand based on the success of the corporate market,” said ECP Executive Director Parker McClellan. “What’s that doing is making sure they have adequate space for future development.”
Sheltair launched service at the airport in 2010, which includes fuel services as the company’s primary source of revenue, airplane storage and other insularly ground support services.
Sheltair’s new lease adds about 5 acres of space, the majority of which will be paved ramp space, and shifts operations to the south. Ramp space at Sheltair is primarily used for parking aircraft, ranging from small Cessna planes to larger, corporate jets.
The FBO will give up a portion of land in the process, which McClellan said will be marketed by economic development officials as a potential site for aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul companies (MROs). The new lease also provides an annual revenue boost of $77,625 for the airport, which leases land to Sheltair at $0.33 per square foot.
In August, the airport saw 3,000 flights and landings in the general aviation sector, compared with 1,268 on the commercial side. General aviation last month saw a decline of about 16 percent from August of 2013, which saw 3,576 take offs and landings out of Sheltair. The Fort Lauderdale- based company operates 14 facilities across the U.S., with locations in Florida , Georgia and New York .