City sells building, fuel pumps at Orlando Apopka Airport


Looking to sell the fixed base operations (FBO) at Orlando Apopka Airport, the Apopka City Council Wednesday, April 7, unanimously approved a bid to sell the FBO to First Landings Aviation at a purchase price of $475,000.

First Landings currently runs a pilot school at the airport and looks to expand the operations even further to include aviation manufacturing and mechanics jobs.

The FBO includes the fuel pumps and a 3,828-square foot building with restrooms at 1321 Apopka Airport Road, just off U.S. Highway 441.

First Landings bid of $475,000 matches the appraisal that was done for the city, but was the fourth lowest of the five bids placed for the fixed base operations.

The highest bid was for $512,000 by James P.A. Thompson. The lowest was $375,000 by D&J Aviation, LLC.

Members of the City Council said First Landings’ overall plan to bring in more educational opportunities, as well as some high-paying aviation manufacturing and mechanics jobs, swayed them to that bid.

“One of the things that really stood out as I looked at all of the (bid) packages was the scholastic opportunities and that’s something that’s near and dear to my heart,” City Commissioner Doug Bankson said. “There’s a great need and a great opportunity in the aviation field for both pilots and mechanics, and I see the (First Landings) school really standing out in that aspect.”

Bankson cited First Landings’ relationships with Apopka High School and Hodges University as aiding the growth of the educational opportunities in the aviation field. “This is a huge in-road that will help serve the long-term purpose,” he said.

In addition, First Landings has been chosen to be the exclusive training and certification partner in the United States for Vickers Wave, an amphibious light aircraft, owned by a company currently based out of New Zealand.

First Landings Aviation, founded by Adam Valencic, has been located at the FBO of Orlando Apopka Airport since 2009.

To find out more about what happened at the Apopka City Council meeting, pick up the Friday, April 9, issue of The Apopka Chief.

The Apopka Chief and The Planter are weekly community newspapers, independently owned and family operated, that have served the greater Apopka area in Central Florida since 1923 and 1965 respectively. Subscribe today!