FBO Sheltair, in partnership with The City of Ocala, has opened the main terminal at Ocala International airport, representing a $7 million public-private investment in a facility designed to serve a dynamic Florida community while strengthening the role of general aviation.
The Ocala terminal project has come about due to the combined efforts of the City of Ocala, the airport, the Florida Department of Transportation and Sheltair. The new 15,722 sq ft terminal features soaring architecture that will house the Sheltair FBO (including offices, crew lounge, a quiet room and flight planning areas), airport administration offices, rental car facilities, community event space and a local restaurant expected to open next year.
“Through the city council's leadership and key partnerships with the Florida Department of Transportation and Sheltair Aviation, this project has gone from concept to creation,” says Ocala interim city manager Sandra Wilson. “This airport terminal will serve as an iconic gateway to Ocala and Marion County for business and leisure travellers for generations to come. It signifies our recognition of the positive economic impact the general aviation industry has on this community.”
In addition, Sheltair has just broken ground on a new 19,800 sq ft hangar at OIA with 28-ft doors that will accommodate the latest corporate jets.
Todd Anderson, Sheltair's senior VP of real estate and development, states: “We believe that this new hangar now under construction and the adjacent FBO building represent a world-class 'front door' to the City of Ocala that has come to market just in time. Our company is proud to be part of this unique partnership, contributing our proven aviation design expertise along with a $2 million financial investment, allowing all of us to celebrate a much-anticipated ribbon cutting.”
Anderson notes that it will not only be able to accommodate current general aviation traffic but the significant growth in passenger traffic that will occur when the 4,000-acre World Equestrian Center opens in 2021, becoming an acclaimed Ocala international destination.
The terminal and hangar are not the only areas receiving considerable attention at the airport. Late last year, the Ocala City Council approved a $5.25 million contract for rehabilitation of the airport's main taxiway.
Anderson concludes: “The infrastructure that supports general aviation is crucial to its role in supporting a region's economy. The public officials of Ocala City and the executives of the airport recognise this essential fact and it is reflected in this new terminal and the role it is expected to play in the years to come.”