Central Florida Airport Approves Hybrid FBO/Hotel

 - September 10, 2020, 9:19 PM
Central Florida's Melbourne International Airport will receive its first on-airport hotel and its third service provider in the same package in 2022, when the new fly-in Hyatt Place is slated to open. The facility is expected to largely cater to the corporate traffic generated by the airport's based aviation industry manufacturers. To that end, the hotel will feature eight executive suites on the uppermost floor, and its own ramp for handling aircraft.

The Melbourne (Florida) Airport (MLB) Authority has approved the lease on a hybrid FBO/hotel, which is expected to begin construction by early 2021. According to Florida-based hospitality real estate developer and manager AD1 Global, the five-story Hyatt Place hotel will include an integrated full-service FBO on the ground floor, which will give the central Florida airport its third aircraft service provider when the facility opens in 2022.

The FBO, which has yet to be named, will provide its own line service, and operate its own refuelers which, along with the existing two service providers on the field,  will draw from the airport’s 200,000-gallon fuel supply. Mark Busalacchi, MLB’s director of marketing and business development, told AIN that a group of T-hangars will be demolished to make room for the new FBO’s ramp, while an existing access road will be eliminated to provide the new building with secure direct airside access.

The new hotel, to be built by Certified General Contractors, will employ the latest noise mitigation construction techniques. It will have 140 rooms, including several executive suites on the top floor and a rooftop bar/restaurant that will offer expansive views of the airport and surrounding environment.

With an approximately $20 million price tag, the facility will occupy three acres of a 12-acre parcel on the south side of the airport just west of the commercial terminal. Sam Cohen, a principal with AD1 Development and the owner of the project, is currently in negotiations to acquire a lease for the remaining portion, which could eventually accommodate another hotel, a conference center, and/or retail development.

“Between Embraer, Northrop-Grumman, L3 Harris, and now Aerion Supersonic, the need for a hotel has been there for quite a while, but the FBO component of this really makes so much sense for our airport because of who our tenants are and the amount of private flying that is done at the airport,” Busalacchi explained. “Private jet activity at the airport is increasing, it’s going to further increase with the presence of Aerion, so it’s just a great fit.”