|Orlando-Sanford International Airport|
|Orlando Sanford Airport (July 2011)|
|IATA: SFB ICAO: KSFB FAA LID: SFB|
|Owner||Sanford Airport Authority|
|Elevation AMSL||55 ft / 17 m|
|Source: Federal Aviation Administration|
Orlando-Sanford International Airport (IATA: SFB, ICAO: KSFB, FAA LID: SFB) is a public commercial air service airport in Sanford, Florida, near Orlando. It was originally constructed as a military installation known as Naval Air Station Sanford that was in operation as a Master Jet Base for carrier-based attack and reconnaissance aircraft until 1969.
Due to heavy flight training operations at the airport, it is consistently in the top 30 busiest airports in the world in terms of total flight operations (takeoff and landings). It functions as the Orlando area's secondary commercial airport, but is located farther away from downtown Orlando and the attraction areas of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida and SeaWorld Orlando than the larger, primary airport, Orlando International Airport (MCO/KMCO).
The airport is owned by the Sanford Airport Authority and managed by TBI plc, one of the world's leading airport operators, which owns London Luton Airport, Cardiff Airport, and Belfast International Airport in the United Kingdom, as well as Stockholm-Skavsta Airport in Sweden, and operates airports in South America. Because of that affiliation, Orlando Sanford International Airport is served primarily by British charter air carriers servicing the European market for leisure travel to Central Florida. TBI is also the provider of ground handling services for airlines. Although it is primarily a landing point for European travel, Sanford is also the second largest focus city for Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air. It was also a small focus city for the travel marketer Direct Air until the company's demise in 2012.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2008)|
Orlando-Sanford International Airport started life as Naval Air Station Sanford with the airport codes NRJ and KNRJ. Commissioned on November 3, 1942, the base initially concentrated on advanced land-based patrol plane training. During the Cold War, the airport continued to be used by the Navy, until it was closed in 1969.
The City of Sanford assumed control of the former NAS Sanford in 1969 and renamed the facility Sanford Airport, hiring the air station's recently retired Executive Officer, Commander J. S. "Red" Cleveland, USN (Ret.), as the first Airport Manager. The city concurrently established the Sanford Airport Authority as its policy and oversight body. For the next twenty-five years, the airport was a general aviation facility, supporting numerous locally-based and transient private and corporate aircraft and periodically hosting combined civilian/military air shows and associated static displays. Initially functioning as an uncontrolled airfield, the former Navy control tower was reactivated in the early 1970s as a non-FAA facility, employing a number of retired enlisted Navy air traffic controllers who had previously served at NAS Sanford.
Additional name changes followed, to include Sanford Regional Airport, Central Florida Regional Airport, Orlando Sanford Regional Airport and the current Orlando Sanford International Airport. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, many of the former Navy buildings that had been constructed during World War II had reached the end of their useful service life and were demolished, while those constructed by the Navy in the 1950s and 1960s were renovated and improved for civilian use. Additional construction of new buildings and hangars also took place.
OLF Osceola was transferred to the control of Seminole County, Florida but was never officially recommissioned as an active airfield. In the 1970s, the former OLF began to be used by general aviation drug smuggling aircraft as a transshipment point. Following a major drug interdiction by local and federal law enforcement agencies, Seminole County placed large "speed bumps at various intervals across the runway to deter future illegal use. By the 1980s, the county began to utilize the site as a landfill and dump, demolishing remaining runway infrastructure.
In 1992, major portions of the action film Passenger 57, starring Wesley Snipes, were filmed at the then-Orlando Sanford Regional Airport, where it represented a small airport in Louisiana. Shortly after filming, a new control tower was constructed and air traffic control operations assumed by the FAA. The former Navy control tower and the large former Navy hangar to which it had been attached were then demolished.
In the mid-1990s, a new passenger terminal capable of accommodating commercial jet airline service was constructed. Charter airlines catering to the heavy British tourist demographic that had previously been utilizing Orlando International Airport were offered greatly reduced landing fees if they would use Orlando Sanford International Airport, so many of these carriers subsequently relocated their operations. Scheduled international and domestic air service soon followed, as reflected by current operations by Icelandair and Allegiant Air.
The airport is also home to Aerosim Flight Academy, formerly Delta Connection Academy, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, which provides ab initio flight training for prospective regional airline and international pilots. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office also maintains a hangar and support facility at the airport for aviation elements of the agency's Special Operations Division.
Orlando Sanford International Airport covers 2,010 acres (813 ha) and has four runways:
The dominant runway is 9L/27R. This was constructed from the naval air station's original Runway 9/27, which was an 8,000 ft (2,400 m) x 200 ft (61 m) landing area with overruns of 2,145 ft (654 m) and 1,985 ft (605 m), respectively. Runway 9L/27R was recently extended 1,400 ft (430 m) to a total length of 11,000 ft (3,400 m). The project was completed on April 1, 2013. Parallel Runways 9C/27C and 9R/27L were later constructed, the former on a previous taxiway and the latter as new construction runway, to support light general aviation aircraft. The airport also has available Runway 18/36, another Navy-constructed runway, for rare northerly fronts that occur in the winter, although at 6,002 feet (1,829 m) in length, this runway is rarely used for normal commercial traffic.
During 2010 Allegiant Air had announced it was moving many of its flights to larger, and more centrally located Orlando International Airport to compete directly with AirTran Airways. However, in October 2010, Allegiant announced that due to passenger's comments, they would be shifting all flights back to Sanford on February 1, 2011.
Thomas Cook are to operate to Orlando International from March 2014.
|Allegiant Air||Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton, Appleton/Green Bay, Bangor, Belleville/St. Louis, Bloomington/Normal, Cedar Rapids, Chattanooga, Chicago-Rockford, Columbus-Rickenbacker, Des Moines, Duluth, Elmira/Corning, Fargo, Fort Wayne, Gary/Chicago, Grand Forks, Grand Rapids, Greensboro, Greenville/Spartanburg, Hagerstown (MD), Harrisburg, Huntington (WV), Knoxville, Lansing, Lexington, Little Rock (begins June 6, 2013), McAllen, Moline/Quad Cities, Newport News/Williamsburg, Niagara Falls, Northwest Arkansas, Owensboro, Plattsburgh, Roanoke, Sioux Falls, South Bend, Toledo, Tri-Cities (TN), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Youngstown (OH)
Seasonal: Laredo, Shreveport
|Monarch Airlines||London-Gatwick, Manchester (UK)
Seasonal: Belfast-International, Cardiff, Glasgow-International, Newcastle upon Tyne
|Thomas Cook Airlines||Manchester (UK)
Seasonal: Belfast-International, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick
|Thomson Airways||Birmingham (UK), London-Gatwick, Manchester
Seasonal: Bristol, East Midlands, Glasgow-International, Newcastle upon Tyne
|5||Grand Rapids, MI||23,000||Allegiant|
|6||South Bend, IN||22,000||Allegiant|
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