DELAND, Florida — DeLand Municipal Airport (KDED) is buzzing with activity, according to airport officials.
The dates for the fourth annual DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase dates are set for Nov. 14-16, 2019. Its new administration building, the Leigh Matusick Airport Management Center, is up and running. And the DeLand Sport Aviation Village is welcoming its first tenants.
DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase
The fourth annual DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase will take place Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14-16, 2019, at DeLand Municipal Airport.
The showcase draws more than 100 companies to display their aviation products, including manufacturers and dealers of aircraft, aircraft kits, engines, avionics, and electronics, as well as pilot supplies, insurance, pilot apparel, and more.
Attendance at Showcase 2018 was 5,500, with sales exceeding $1.3 million, according to showcase officials. The economic impact for the general DeLand area from the 2018 event is estimated at $1.2 million, including lodging, food, equipment rentals, and more.
“We invite you to join us to explore the fun side of flying,” said Filip. “We welcome all varieties of recreational aircraft, including fixed-wing airplanes, gyrocopters, powered parachutes, three-axis trikes, and powered paragliders. The showcase is the place to see all things sport aviation in one place. It’s a great place for buyers and sellers to meet and have quality time together. And, it’s easy to arrange demo flights to get a feel for how an aircraft flies. The showcase is truly the hands-on place to learn more about recreational aviation.”
New Administration Building
KDED Airport Manager John Eiff reports that airport staff has moved into the $2.8 million Leigh Matusick Airport Management Center. Named in honor of DeLand’s recently retired Vice-Mayor and City Commissioner, Leigh Matusick, the AMC provides office space for KDED’s staff members, a conference room, a 76-seat meeting room available to airport tenants, and a 24-hour lounge area for visiting pilots and passengers.
“We are excited to offer more amenities to our airport tenant businesses and the pilots who fly into KDED,” Eiff said. “We also look forward to having more space for our staff. An added benefit is that the new administration building places our staff closer to the flight line, enabling us to be more responsive to pilots and emergencies.”
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) funded 80% of the costs of the AMC, with the City of DeLand covering the remaining 20%. In addition to the construction of the building, those funds covered the relocation of roadways, removal of World War II-era underground holding tanks, and retention pond work.
Still to be completed is a new aircraft apron in front of the building, with work in progress for the $973,000 project. The cost is again being split 80/20 between FDOT and the City of DeLand.
DeLand Municipal Airport is non-towered and provides 24-hour general aviation air services. It has two asphalt runways – 4,301′ by 75′ and 6,000′ by 100′. The airport boasts two $100 hamburger restaurants, the Gin Mill – Airport Restaurant and Bar, and the Perfect Spot located at Skydive DeLand.
Known as the “Skydiving Capital of the World,” KDED is home to a number of parachute and aviation manufacturers that serve military, commercial, and general aviation sectors. It is also a great “hopping off” location to visit the wide variety of tourist activities in the area, airport officials said.
DeLand Sport Aviation Village
The DeLand Sport Aviation Village is a commerce park on 40 acres on the east side of DeLand Municipal Airport, adjacent to the airport’s runways.
“The City of DeLand is embracing sport aviation like no other city,” said Jana Filip, sport aviation administrator at KDED. “The Sport Aviation Village provides strategic advantages and special support for businesses related to homebuilding and sport aviation. It will be a premier location for recreational aircraft manufacturers, dealers, owners, and enthusiasts.”
The Sport Aviation Village is being developed in four stages, with infrastructure now in place for Phase 1A and 1B locations. Contracts for the first three tenants in Phase 1A are in the finalization process, with three additional tenant locations remaining.
Applications for Phase 1B tenants will be available this spring. Phase 1B will include 21 T-hangars, storage hangars, and builder assist entities.
“The City of DeLand is offering expedited permitting and inspections, as well as tax refunds and credits in some cases,” Filip said. “In addition, the temperate climate and the quality of life in the area will make it easy for companies to recruit a reliable workforce, making the Village a great place for a business to locate, relocate, or expand.”