AND GENERAL INFORMATION
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
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
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.
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
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.
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