Three aviation companies with Fixed-Base Operations services at Kissimmee Gateway Airport and a Winter Park developer are vying for the chance to lease and develop 11 acres at the municipal airport.
One of the bidders, Kissimmee Aviation Services, currently operates the Kissimmee Jet Center at the site. Airport Director Shaun Germolus said the existing facility lies in the path of a future taxiway that will run parallel to one of the runways. He said the taxiway is scheduled for completion by 2022 and will require demolition of the existing FBO facility.
“We were the first FBO at the Kissimmee airport,” president Antonio Romano told GrowthSpotter. He said he presented a plan to City Council in 2017 to redevelop the site, which included adding 26,000 square feet of new hangar space.
“We thought we were going to get the new lease, but instead now we have to compete for it,” he said.
The city wants to raze the Jet Center and start over with a clean slate. Germolus said the goal is to “maximize the best use and potential of that site” to replace the FBO and offer enhanced services that are not available today.
"We’re concentrating again on economic development and job creations and again Aviation Services here to best complement our airport,” he told prospective bidders in an earlier conference call.
The four responded to the city’s Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on Monday are:
- Kissimmee Aviation Services Inc.: The full service FBO operates the Kissimmee Jet Center, which offers fueling services, maintenance and hangar space. The company has had a presence at the Kissimmee airport since 1981 but could be displaced if another bidder is selected.
- Quantum FBO Group: The company currently leases 12 acres from the airport and maintains 120,000 square feet in hangar space. The facility includes a 2,000-square-foot pilot center, a snooze room and executive conference room.
- Sheltair Aviation: Based in Fort Lauderdale, Sheltair in 2002 constructed and now manages 66 individual T-hangar and box units on five acres of property located on the east side of the airfield. The company has a dozen FBO locations in Florida and also operates in Georgia, New York and Colorado.
- E2L Real Estate Solution: based in Winter Park: The company was selected as development partner for City of Boynton Beach to build a new city hall and library complex as part of a 16-acre mixed-use downtown redevelopment called “Town Square." The project was slated for completion in June.
The Kissimmee redevelopment site is located in the southeast quadrant of the airport, south of Runway 6-24, which runs from the southwest to the northeast. Stormwater infrastructure is already in place, as is a 1-acre paved parking lot, according to the RFQ. Water and sewer will be available by 2021, and a new contract control tower southwest of the site is planned, though it’s not included in the current 5-year work program.
The has budgeted $382,000 in 2022 to update the airport master plan for the first time since it was approved in 2004.
Located eight miles from Walt Disney World and 10 miles from the Orlando-Orange County Convention Center, Kissimmee Gateway Airport accommodates general aviation air service 24 hours a day on its two paved runways. The airport handles over 130,000 flight operations annually.