John Leenhouts, president and CEO of Sun ’n’ Fun, opened the 40th anniversary Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In with some encouraging news. “I expect between 200,000 and 225,000 feet through the gates this Sun ’n’ Fun,” he told AIN. “Our pre-sales are up two and a half times normal, and the campgrounds are filling up fast,” he continued. He said he expects 11,000 to 12,000 aircraft movements per day, which would result in about 3,500 aircraft on the field at one time.
Leenhouts introduced 10 students from the co-located Central Florida Aerospace Academy as the Stratus Squadron. These high achievers are working on mechanics’ ratings, pilot certificates and more, and this week at Sun ’n’ Fun they are free to roam about the field and discover all that aviation can be for them. Students attending CFAA are eligible for $5,000 scholarships that can cover fees for pilot training, college and more.
He also revealed that Sun ’n’ Fun, in conjunction with the Lakeland Linder Airport, has settled on a five-year deal with the FAA regarding ATC fees for the show. “Last year we paid $203,000 for ATC services,” explained Leenhouts. The arrangement for this year required Sun ’n’ Fun to pay $280,000 up front, and the FAA rebates any unused fees after the show.