A $500,000 item in the Florida Legislature’s annual budget to speed up site work for DeLand’s Sport Aviation Village was given the ax by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week.
“This was not money in our five-year plan, but it would have helped us to speed up the plan for Phase Two of our new Sport Aviation Village,” explained Jana Filip, the airport’s sport-aviation administrator.
She explained that Phase One, which includes six commercial hangars to be leased, and 30 new small-plane “T-shaped” hangars, has been fully funded from airport revenues, without taking money from the city’s general fund.
“We plan to fund up to a dozen new commercial hangars for Phase Two from airport revenues, as well. It will just take us a little longer without this state budget money,” she noted.
Phase Two is now expected to start in about two years with current funding, and bring significant new high-paying jobs to West Volusia when completed.
Three of the six hangar sites in Phase One have potential tenants and are waiting for the city’s legal team to release contracts to be offered for signing.
Every November, DeLand Municipal Airport sponsors a three-day Sport Aviation Showcase, an event focused solely on recreational flying and sport aviation. The event attracts more than 100 exhibitors, featuring all kinds of sport aircraft, ultralights, trikes, rotorcraft, powered parachutes and paragliders, engines, avionics, pilot gear and flight schools, according to the city’s website.
City officials plan for the Sport Aviation Village to be a premier location for recreational aircraft manufacturers, dealers and owners, with support for home-builts and light-sport aircraft.
Already a major commerce center for the parachute industry and home to some of the world’s largest producers of sport parachutes, the village will create a similar center for recreational aircraft manufacturers, dealers and owners, according to the city’s website.
Portions of the Sport Aviation Village will be accessible to the public. Aviation enthusiasts, would-be-builders and student groups will be welcome to visit and learn about the exciting world of recreational aircraft and flying for fun, the website says.