This provides a general description of Orlando Sanford Airport and its service area. It describes data relevant to the Airport's history, geographic locale, climate, and operational role in today's aviation environment.

A. History

The Orlando Sanford Airport began its history prior to the 1940's as an 865-acre airport equipped with two runways. On June 11, 1942, the City of Sanford deeded the Airport to the U.S. Navy and the Airport became a Naval Air Station. The Navy acquired an additional 615 acres of land for the station and immediately began construction of its facilities. The majority of these facilities are still present at the Airport today, some of which currently serve as storage hangars. In 1943, active flight operations began at the Naval Air Station; the station served as a fighter and dive-bomber training base. After World War II, in 1946, the Naval Air Station's job was completed and the station was decommissioned. The City of Sanford reacquired the land and the facility was named the Sanford Airport. As the Sanford Airport, the Airport accommodated several tenants on the field. Between 1946 and 1950, these tenants included the New York Giants American Baseball Training Camp, a retirement home, a hospital, and a clothing company.

After the Korean War began in 1951, the Navy once again acquired the Airport and purchased an additional 164 acres, bringing the total acreage of the Airport to 1,644. The Airport operated as a training base for fighter, attack, and reconnaissance aircraft until it closed in June of 1968. The City of Sanford realized that closure of the base would pose an economic threat to the local economy. In an effort to reduce this threat, the City negotiated with the federal government for the property purchase. It was ultimately bought for the sum of $1.00. The Sanford Industrial Commission was established to promote the industrial aspects of the Airport. In 1970, the City Department of Aviation replaced the commission, and all administrative and operational control was taken over by the City.

In 1971, the City of Sanford, by legislative act, created the Sanford Airport Authority, a dependent special district. Since 1971, the Sanford Airport Authority has been responsible for the operation, maintenance, and development of the Airport and the Airport's facilities. Initially, the Airport Authority consisted of seven people who were each appointed to serve a four-year term. Today, the Authority is comprised of nine members appointed by the Sanford City Commission. The Authority elects its own chairman, vice chairman, secretary, and treasurer. The Authority also employs a President, Executive Vice President, Vice President-Aviation Marketing, Vice President-Operations and Maintenance, Vice President-Finance and Vice President-Administration, as well as 34 full-time employees.

A master plan update was completed in January 1995, and revised in 1997. A 2001 update is in progress. Highlights of infrastructure development during the last five years include: a main runway declared distance enhancement, an international arrivals building, an expansion to the international arrivals building, taxiway improvements, new PAPI-2 and PAPI-4 systems, a Part 150 noise study, a FAA control tower, a air carrier ramp expansion, a general aviation runway, a new fire station, the Cargo Centre, a parking lot transition project, and a Taxiway "B" West extension. Additional projects included: installation of a new instrument landing system (ILS), commerce park improvements, and a new hangar for C.E. Avionics, a new Fixed Base Operator (FBO) facility and a new seven gate domestic terminal expansion.

B. Location

The City of Sanford is located in the northwestern portion of Seminole County, approximately 16 nautical miles or 18 statute miles northeast of Orlando, Florida. The Orlando Sanford Airport is located in the southeastern portion of the City of Sanford. Major interstate access to the Airport is provided by Interstate 4 and the Central Florida GreeneWay (S.R. 417). State Highway 46 provides access to the Airport from the west via Interstate-4 and from the east via Interstate 95. The primary roadways into the Airport include East Lake Mary Boulevard, connecting to Red Cleveland Boulevard, Airport Boulevard via Sanford Avenue, and Wylly Avenue via Sanford Avenue.  

Orlando Sanford Airport's reference point coordinates, based on the North American Datum of 1983, are latitude 28' 46' 43" north and longitude 81' 14' 20" west. The Airport's elevation is 55 feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL). The Airport is conveniently located near major metropolitan areas in Central Florida.

C. Climate

Weather conditions are an important consideration in the planning and development of an airport. For example, temperature is a critical factor in determining runway length. Wind speed and direction determine runway orientation. Another factor determining the need for navigational aids and lighting is the percentage of time when cloud cover limits area visibility.

The climate at the Orlando Sanford Airport is typical of the southeast. Annual precipitation averages approximately 47 inches per year, 57 percent of which falls during the months of June through September. Summers in Sanford include hot weather with a high relative humidity. Temperatures typically range from 80 to 95 degrees. The mean maximum temperature in August, the hottest month, is 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters average approximately 30 degrees cooler than summers with no recorded snowfall during the winter months.