The Kissimmee Gateway Airport is ready to grow by 20 percent now that a 7-acre parcel near the flightline has been prepped for development.
The site, on the southwest side of the airport off Hoagland Boulevard, can accommodate between five and six 10,000 square-foot hangars, said Terry Lloyd, director of aviation at the municipal airport.
The city built hook-ups for water, sewer and electricity on the land to make it more attractive to new businesses. Two new roads off Hoagland – Aviation Drive and Airpark Way – leading to the site also recently opened.
And with the Martin Luther King Boulevard extension now open – which connects to the airport’s main entrance on Dyer Boulevard – all the infrastructure is now in place for the airport to expand, Lloyd said.
Like the site on the flightline, the city prepped an 8-acre parcel off MLK with infrastructure to make it easier for companies to move in.
The improvements to the airport have been 15 years in the making, he said.
On Thursday, Lloyd led a production crew around the airport to shoot aerial photographs of the site – using a camera mounted on a drone aircraft – for a new marketing campaign aimed at small and medium-sized aviation-related businesses.
“Small businesses in general are where the most job creation is,” Lloyd said.
“We have an adequate number of flight training schools, so we know who we’re not going to be marketing to. But besides that it’s wide open,” he said.
Kissimmee Gateway is in a prime location in Central Florida, with easy access to Interstate 4, Florida’s Turnpike and Orlando International Airport. The climate also is a selling point, Lloyd said.
“We have good weather for aviation. That’s why flight training schools are so popular here,” he said. “But we want to diversify.”
The city hopes to bring aviation-related manufacturing and other industrial business to the MLK parcel, which is outside airport grounds, he said.
The Federal Aviation Administration includes Kissimmee Gateway Airport under its listing for Orlando. But many overlook it, Lloyd said, not realizing how close Kissimmee is to Orlando, Disney World and other Central Florida sites.
“That’s our greatest marketing challenge but we’ve made a lot of inroads,” he said.
The 1000-acre airport now caters mostly to mid-sized business jets used for private charters as well as small planes, some flown by professionals for services such as mapping, others by recreational pilots.
In all, there are about 100 acres of undeveloped or underdeveloped land, that are ready to go, said Belinda Kirkegard, Kissimmee Economic Development Department director.
Along with a variety of grants available to businesses at the airport, many are also exempt from the city’s impact fees, she said. Six new companies have come online in the last eight months, she said.
“We’ve started to see the economy turn around finally and we’re ready to rock,” she said. “The momentum is definitely building for our airport.”
NBAA’s 2015 Leadership Conference for Attendance, Sponsorships
March 6, 2015
Washington, DC, March 6, 2015 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 2015 Leadership Conference concluded Feb. 26 in Tucson, AZ, after setting records for attendance and sponsorships.
The three-day gathering drew 445 people, including aviation managers, chief pilots, maintenance managers, safety officers, schedulers, dispatchers and flight attendants. The conference also attracted a record 38 sponsors, which underscored its value to the industry.
“NBAA’s Leadership Conference provided a compelling platform for emerging and experienced leaders to broaden their perspectives,” noted Ed White, director of aviation for MB Aviation, LLC and chair of NBAA’s Corporate Aviation Management Committee (CAMC). “Not only does this help them lead more effectively, but the knowledge and skills gained here enhance their ability to communicate with, and interact with, executives who understand these concepts. This helps to properly align the flight department as a value-added, integrated business unit.”
In a series of in-person presentations, seven leadership experts and authors advised attendees how to influence, inspire and innovate in their daily jobs. The speakers included former NFL quarterback Tom Flick, who highlighted the need to embrace big opportunities and pursue them with urgency, and Peter Sheahan, CEO of ChangeLabs and a best-selling author, who underscored the importance of relationships and of setting goals and working hard to achieve them.
Also at the conference, nine “game changers,” mostly in business aviation, delivered inspirational messages via pre-recorded video. They included Robert Duncan, of Duncan Aviation, who applied innovative ideas to make aviation services readily accessible to customers; Sir Ranulph Fiennes, an English adventurer, who inspired risk-taking by exploring remote regions on Earth and Joan Sullivan Garrett, of MedAire, who promoted standardized access to medical services on business aircraft. Read: “NBAA Leadership Conference to Highlight Industry Game Changers.”
Another highlight was a pre-conference panel discussion on how business aviation might be affected by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) efforts to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS). For instance, flight departments were encouraged to offer their critical expertise in safety, airspace and maintenance when their companies decide to operate UAS. Read more about the UAS discussion.
Additionally, a total of $10,000 in CAMC scholarships was awarded at the conference to five recipients, with proceeds put toward conference attendance. Read more about the Leadership Conference Scholarship winners.
“The conference provided invaluable lessons on how to become a more effective leader in business aviation,” said Jay Evans, NBAA’s director of professional development. “The speakers and game changers combined to make the powerful point that every one of us can be an agent of positive change in our industry.”
Next year’s Leadership Conference is scheduled for Feb. 22 to 24 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio, TX.
View a photo gallery of NBAA’s 2015 Leadership Conference.
Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 10,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.