ICON Aircraft, maker of the ICON A5 Light Sport Aircraft, has officially opened its ICON Flight Center (IFC) at Tampa’s Peter O. Knight Airport.
IFC Tampa joins ICON’s existing IFC in Northern California and will serve as an East Coast hub where A5 deposit holders and the general public can complete flight training and rent aircraft.
Both IFC locations offer specialized courses for various levels of experience, from seasoned seaplane pilots to those who are completely new to aviation, according to company officials.
Programs range from a 90-minute introductory flight to a 15-day full Sport Pilot License with water endorsement.
“We developed the ICON training program from the ground up to be as innovative and thoughtfully designed as the aircraft itself,” said ICON Aircraft Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins. “We studied a range of high-performance schools, like car and motorcycle racing courses, before developing the ICON training program, and we optimized our approach based on how people learn, so they can most effectively absorb critical information and learn the fundamentals of flying. In addition to emphasizing basic airmanship, we also focus on developing good judgment and decision-making, self-reliance, and encouraging ICON pilots to be responsible members of the flying community. These are all critically important to ensure that everyone who flies an A5 has the tools to safely maximize the extraordinary capabilities and versatility of the A5.”
“The new IFC in Tampa is an important part of our vision to democratize aviation,” Hawkins added. “People from all over the world can now experience the A5 and the ICON training program, regardless of whether or not they are deposit holders. And, for the first time, training program graduates can rent an A5 and take it out and do the type of sport flying that most people never get to experience. Peter O. Knight Airport is the ideal base for this because of Florida’s year-round flying weather and outstanding water flying, combined with the airport’s easily accessible urban location.”
ICON opened its first flight center, IFC NorCal, in California this summer as part of its 300,000-square-foot corporate headquarters. To date, approximately 40 people have completed their training.
ICON plans to open its third IFC facility in Texas in the first quarter of 2017.