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Airport begins $18 million in expansion projects

Board member calls it a ‘monumental time’ for airport.

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  • | 8:54 a.m. October 9, 2020
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Courtesy Jay Selman. Punta Gorda Airport is moving forward on expansion projects.
Courtesy Jay Selman. Punta Gorda Airport is moving forward on expansion projects.
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PUNTA GORDA — Construction has begun on the first phase of Punta Gorda Airport’s Aviation Expansion Area, called PGD AviEx. It’s part of $18 million in airport projects that will be constructed in several phases, according to a statement.

PGD AviEx is the largely undeveloped tract of land parallel to Challenger Road where the Florida International Air Show was based the last few years, the release states. Officials hope the runway-adjacent area will become a hub for general aviation activities, as well as a prime spot for onsite flight schools, avionics, aircraft maintenance services and related training programs to expand.

PGD AviEx projects are made possible through a combination of funds from the Charlotte County Airport Authority; Federal Aviation Administration; Florida Department of Transportation; passenger facility charges; and customer facilities charges. 

The first phase that broke ground is a 650,000-square-foot ramp, or aircraft parking area, and the extension of Taxiway E, the release states. Construction on the second phase is expected to begin in late 2020 and includes the GA Center (including FBO operations), associated access roads and parking and the site work for 10 larger 60x60 hangars. Those larger hangars, along with a new row of 24 T-Hangar units, will likely to be constructed during the third phase in 2021, the release adds.

Located within the boundaries of the Punta Gorda Interstate Airport Park, PGD is already home to a strong aerospace and aviation community, including professional avionics and aircraft service providers, flight schools, luxury charters, an air ambulance and a new Aviation Maintenance Technician School that Charlotte Technical College will launch in August 2021.

“This is a monumental time for PGD,” Airport Authority Commissioner Kathleen Coppola says in the release. “Our commercial success has brought us to this point, and now we need to develop the PGD AviEx so there’s room for aviation-related businesses to grow.”

The Airport Authority is scheduled to award the bid for construction of the GAC at its Oct. 15 board meeting. In early 2021, the authority will seek potential restaurateurs interested in funding, designing and operating a restaurant, bar and catering service inside the new GAC.




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