The City of Ocala in partnership with Sheltair, the Ocala Airport Fixed Based Operator (FBO), opened the main terminal at Ocala International Airport (OIA) Friday, February 28, 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 represents the combined efforts of the City of Ocala, the airport, the Florida Department of Transportation, and Sheltair. The new 15,722s square foot terminal is a state-of-the-art building with 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 City Council’s leadership and key partnerships with the Florida Department of Transportation and Sheltair Aviation, this project has gone from concept to creation,” said Ocala Interim City Manager, Sandra Wilson. “This airport terminal will serve as an iconic gateway to Ocala and Marion County for business and leisure travelers 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 square foot hangar at OIA with spacious 28-foot doors that will accommodate the latest corporate jets that help keep our nation’s economy in motion. Todd Anderson, Sheltair’s Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Development, stated, “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. Mr. Anderson concluded, “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 recognize this essential fact and it is reflected in this new terminal and the role it is expected to play in the years to come.”
For more information, please visit www.sheltairaviation.com.