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Business Observer Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 11 months ago

Air force: Private aviation firm soars ahead with big investment

Sheltair plans to spend $26 million to upgrade its facilities at Tampa International Airport.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

Tampa International Airport is set to offer more space for private aircraft thanks to a $26 million investment by Sheltair, an aviation company that manages a hangar and office complex at the airport.

As a fixed-base operator (FBO) at TIA, Sheltair serves privately owned aircraft pilots and passengers, offering a full suite of amenities ranging from catering and concierge services to office space and U.S. Customs clearance. On Oct. 21, the company broke ground on a 110,000-square-foot expansion that will create 150 temporary construction jobs and four new hangars, each of which will feature build-to-suite office space, according to a press release. The hangars, outfitted with 29-foot doors, will be able to accommodate large-cabin aircraft such as the G650 and Global 7500.

The investment comes at a time when the private aviation industry is booming. TIA says its private jet operations have risen by 25%, year over year, and Sheltair’s expansion, when it opens next year, will help accommodate that growth.

"The growth of general aviation and private aircraft operations has been one of the success stories of the past few years, even throughout the pandemic," Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano states in the release. "Sheltair has been a wonderful partner in serving this sector of our business and we're thrilled to welcome this major expansion, which we know will be nothing short of spectacular when it opens next year."

Argus International, a Colorado-based aviation consultancy, reported that, nationwide, there were a record 300,000 private jet flights in July. Pandemic-driven health and safety concerns are a contributing factor, along with a healthy, wealth-creating economy and a dramatic rise in the number of incidents involving unruly passengers on commercial flights.

That all adds up to clear skies for Sheltair, founded in 1963 and led by Lisa Holland, representing the third generation of the Holland family to run the company, which has more than 400 employees and operates 19 FBOs nationwide. Holland, in the release, says the TIA development is a testament to the firm’s “extraordinary commitment” to the communities it serves.

Sheltair’s new TIA hangars will range in size from 14,562 to 33,269 square feet, while the facility’s office spaces will be 5,700 to 14,247 square feet. Lease information is available by contacting Vice President of Real Estate and Development Francisco Alonzo at 407-230-2631 or [email protected].

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