Ormond Beach Airport: What We Do and Why
by: Bill Partington
Mayor of Ormond Beach
In response to citizen concerns about the westward expansion of the airport, we reduced the size and scope of the runway extension and kept the entire project on the current airport property . It is important that we listen to our residents and analyze/balance/address their concerns. We hear it over and over when employers come to town – I chose Ormond Beach not only for its charm, but also for its proximity to transportation hubs, including the airport. This makes business in Ormond Beach attractive and integral to our current economy.
Recent FDOT economic impact reports indicate that there are more than 400 well-paying jobs at the airport, with total labor incomes of more than $18 million and business incomes of over $56 million. If you add the total employment of the adjacent business park, the airport area is one of the largest revenue generators and employers in the city of Ormond Beach. All of this speaks volumes about the airport’s value to our city and how it plays a key role not only in the aerospace industry, but in our community as a whole.
Ormond Beach Municipal Airport was opened in 1943 as a naval training ground. The federal government then deeded it to the city in 1959. Since then it has served as a transit facility and the city, as the airport’s interim sponsor, is required to maintain and develop the airport for the benefit of public flight and the national airspace system. Major airport improvement projects are funded by the FDOT and FAA, and the airport’s share is usually only 2% of the total project cost and can be loaned to the Airport Fund from the General fund. These local share amounts are then paid back to the General Fund with airport revenues. These revenues are generated by leases of airport properties (94%) and airport charges (commission on fuel and parking 6%).
A recent example of these types of projects is the major 600-foot east/west runway extension within the existing airport property. This extension is part of the airport’s approved capital improvement plan and was part of the airport’s master plan dating back to 2015. The extension increases operational safety for all who can already use the airport and creates a safety buffer giving pilots more space for takeoff and landing. We have also ensured that the project does not change the types of aircraft authorized to use the airport. This means that no large jets will suddenly be allowed in and out of the airport once the extension is complete. Only the same aircraft types that are currently supported by the airport can continue to use it.
Among the additional benefits for our region, the extension will also allow aircraft to fly at higher altitudes over residential areas to the east/west of the airport and, according to studies, will reduce the impact of noise from planes over neighboring areas. All projects in the airport’s approved capital improvement plan will be carried out within the airport’s existing footprint. Nearly 100% of funding for these important projects comes directly from the FAA and FDOT. If we didn’t use these federal grants, another community could benefit.
In summary: Improving our airport through grants only improves the Ormond Beach area because we can provide a safer, more efficient, and quieter airport!