Contact: Ray Wise or

Stephanie Weidner

Orlando Sanford Airport

(407) 322-7771




Sanford, Fla., April 8, 1999 – The Orlando Sanford Airport is named "Airport with the Most General Aviation Operations" in the state of Florida for 1998, according to recently released Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) statistics. With general aviation operations comprising 375,227 of the 380,981 total takeoffs and landings for the year, the Airport also maintains the most general aviation operations in the FAA’s seven-state southern region, and is ranked fifth in the United States. General aviation, which consists of all flying other than commercial airlines or military traffic, continues to help spur growth at the Airport.

Sanford Airport Authority Executive Director Victor White says the Airport’s activity levels are primarily due to the large volume of pilot training activity conducted at the facility. "The Comair Aviation Academy is one of the largest pilot training centers in the world, and their business greatly contributes to the success and growth our Airport has been experiencing. The overall aircraft operations here have increased more than 8% since 1997."

Comair Aviation Academy President Mike Yocum indicates, "Airlines are hiring record numbers of pilots. Over 600 students enrolled in academy courses in the past year. Our graduates have a bright future in aviation. We appreciate the support of the Orlando Sanford Airport’s management and airport authority in meeting our growing needs at the Airport."

In addition to flight academies, fixed base operators (FBO’s) also contribute to the strength of an Airport’s general aviation reputation. Million Air Orlando leases aircraft, generates charter flights, and engages in pilot training, all of which increase general aviation traffic. The demand for these types of services has resulted in SunJet Aviation, Inc. constructing additional facilities, with plans to open its own fixed based operation in early summer.

The Airport also ranks high in other statistical categories. When both general aviation and air carrier (commercial airline) operations are tabulated, the Airport is second busiest in the state, only outranked by Miami International Airport. In the FAA southern region the Airport is fifth busiest overall and 28th busiest nationally.

Commercial airline operations at the Orlando Sanford Airport also increased between 1997 and 1998. Airline flights rose from 4,800 to more than 5,200 in that period, largely due to the success the Airport has in marketing its services to European holiday travelers. The increase in commercial operations and international marketing has directly led to yearly increases in passenger traffic. In 1998 the Airport serviced nearly 1.1 million international passengers, maintaining Orlando Sanford Airport as the fourth busiest international airport in Florida and 19th in the United States.

According to statistics compiled by the Airports Council International (ACI), the Airport was cited as fastest growing airport of the top 150 commercial service airports in the United States, and the fastest growing of the top 570 worldwide airports, with 80% growth in airline passengers between 1996 and 1997. ACI data also identified Orlando Sanford as the airport with the fastest growth rate (88%) for aircraft operations of the top 70 airports in the world during the same time period. With additional services and planned facilities expansion, the Orlando Sanford Airport expects continued increases in traffic and future growth.