Profiles of change: SUN ’n FUN’s Bob Knight

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He’s been on the SUN ’n FUN board for years, but chairman for just 18 months. Robert C. (Bob) Knight is head of Knight Industrial Equipment (a long-time Lakeland Airport tenant), an airport board member and community leader. He’s been flying out of LAL since 1965. That A-36 Bonanza of his, which he calls “my lifeblood,” is on its fourth engine and third turbo-normalizer.

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Sequestration’s silver lining

The news last week that the FAA will delay closing 149 contract control towers should come as a bit of a relief to the folks at SUN ’n FUN, since Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport was among the first slated to close.

That meant SUN ’n FUN had to come up with the money to pay controllers during the week of the fly-in. The FAA’s latest decision, however, doesn’t let SUN ’n FUN off the hook.

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Put me in coach

While it’s common knowledge in the aviation community that SUN ’n FUN’s International Fly-In and Expo is massive, you may not know the whole story. Sure, you’ve read about the economic impact of this weeklong event creeping up on $70 million. You may have heard rumors of the staggering air traffic, too. The fly-in will see somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 aircraft operations during this one week period, making it the busiest airport on the planet – bar none.

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Countdown to SUN ’n FUN

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The Breitling Countdown Clock on the SUN ’n FUN website is ticking down as Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport (LAL) in Florida transitions into GA’s season-opener national fly-in/convention/airshow.

A pleasant Florida morning in late March revealed things falling into place. Piper Aircraft had its tent up already, as did the [Read more…]

FAA to decide March 18 whether to close LAL tower

The air traffic control tower at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, home to the SUN ’n FUN Fly-In, may close April 7 because of automatic federal budget cuts due to the sequestration. According to a report in the Lakeland Ledger, a decision on whether to close the air traffic control tower will be made March 18. Airport officials have until March 13 to tell the FAA why the tower should remain open. If it is closed, SUN ’n FUN officials have already said they will hire air traffic controllers to man the tower during this year’s show, slated for April 9-14.