Tampa Bay Executive's impending closing may not help Pasco County because Pasco County is losing an airport. The Pasco County airport at Odessa on State Road 54, is closed.
Companies and pilots have scrambled to relocate airplanes and aeronautics businesses because of the closure of the Tampa Bay Executive Airport in Odessa Florida as of October 1, 2004.
Pasco County Florida had a bustling private airport in a heavy commercial area along State Road 54.
Pilots and businesses displaced by the closing of the Tampa Bay Executive Airport as the Pasco County, New Port Richey air transportation center airport is being closed are out of luck!
Future potential uses of the Tampa Bay Executive Airport land and property are numerous. The closing of the Tampa Bay Executive Airport and the future use of the land and property, once designated for use as an airport, are of concern to the economic development potential of central Pasco County and West Central Florida. The central location of the airport property provides potential development opportunities as a significant economic generator for West Pasco County. Convenient access to air transportation is a strong selling point to attract businesses. The land was purchased in the mid 1980's as a part of the Trinity Communities "new town" land aggregation from numerous owners, planned and executed by Skinner for the Gills entities and is sited on those now newly constructed major roads and highway arteries envisioned in the 1980's.
The Pasco County Mosquito Control District moves part of its operation due to the Airport closing.
The October closing of Tampa Bay Executive Airport and the relocation of the district's two Piper Aztec airplanes, are intertwined, mosquito control director Dennis Moore said.
Highway crews are widening State Road 54 into a major highway connector artery, near the airport.
The closing, although long expected, was a shock to many in the community and left sleepy county leaders wondering how it will affect the area. Skinner, the visionary who conceived the Trinity Communities area of development into a "new city," is often quoted as having said about airports around which he has designed developments in the past, "If you don't own 'em, you can't close 'em!"
Tampa Bay Executive hosts over 100 aircraft, including a Bayflite medevac helicopter. County Commissioner Peter Altman has suggested creating a "citizens task force" to review impacts of airport closure, particularly to the Bayflite air ambulance service. The panel could also consider the possibility of building a new airport, Altman said. But in a county where vacant land easily goes for $40,000 an acre, Commissioner Steve Simon said, a 300-acre airport site could cost $12-million. "While I feel for the private plane owner... I don't think the county's responsibility is to provide a facility for that," he said.
Tampa Bay Executive Airport has a single 5,000' asphalt Runway. The runway is 48' wide. Although a length of 5,000' is quite sufficient for most light jets, most runways of that length would typically be wider. The field's owner is at this time Seven Eagles Inc. and the manager is at this time listed as Anita Brink.
Jensen Aviation conducts flight training from the field.
A total of over 100 aircraft are permanently based at the field, including 11 multi-engine aircraft and two helicopters. Additionally many transient and short term aircraft visit. The field was said to conduct an average of 233 takeoffs or landings per day, which makes the field extremely well used. The FBO at the field is the pertinent home of the J. Coates memorial t-shirt exhibit. The airport has a safe record.
The closing of Tampa Bay Executive Airport has sent county officials, medical crews and recreational pilots scrambling to assess its impact and find alternatives to the facility in Trinity Florida. Meetings will be held. County officials need airplanes and airports to go on fishing trips, vacation in the Carolinas and to visit other unimaginative people in Tallahassee and Gainesville. a new airport must be large enough to accommodate aircraft that will hold a lot of "go 'noles" and "go gators" signs!
Loss of an airport which conducts over 80,000 takeoffs/landings per year strikes a serious blow to the Pasco county community and the economy.
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