$3 Million in State Funding Approved For New Aviation Technician Facility
PUNTA GORDA, FL (June 3, 2022) – The Charlotte County Airport Authority (CCAA) is pleased to announce that $3 million was approved in the Florida State Budget for a new combined hangar and classroom facility for Charlotte Technical College’s (CTC) FAA-certified Aviation Maintenance Technician School. The budget was approved by Governor DeSantis on Thursday, June 2, 2022.
A larger training facility at Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) is necessary to meet the aviation industry’s demand for aircraft mechanics, and state funding is essential to keep CTC’s costs low enough for tuition to remain affordable for students.
“Training new Airframe & Powerplant certified mechanics is essential to the future of air travel and the aviation industry,” said CCAA Chair Robert D. Hancik. “This funding will further solidify CTC’s success and allow for the continued expansion of its training program at PGD.”
The new hangar facility is planned to have four classrooms to accommodate up to 100 students at a time and will be located within the airport’s new aviation expansion area known as the “PGD AviEx.” This location will streamline on-the-job training as the area becomes a hub for avionics and aircraft maintenance businesses. CCAA is planning to construct the facility and enter into a long-term lease with Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) to occupy and maintain the facility.
State Representative Michael J. Grant and Senator Joe Gruters sponsored the appropriations request, which is intended to diversify economic development opportunities in the region, create new and high-quality job candidates, and support a burgeoning aviation industry in Florida.
CCAA Commissioner Vanessa G. Oliver serves as the legislative liaison for the Board. “Our local educators, community and businesses leaders got behind the project and helped us raise awareness on a state level,” said Oliver. “We want to thank them for their supportive letters, and our government officials in Tallahassee, for demonstrating their commitment to aviation initiatives in Charlotte County.”
CTC’s Aviation Maintenance Technician school was launched in August 2021 utilizing its homebase campus in Murdock as well as renovated facilities at PGD. CTC is quickly outgrowing the current building and hangar at PGD as it only allows for 50 students at a time.
“Charlotte County Public Schools is very thankful for our partnership with the Airport Authority,” said CCPS Superintendent Steve Dionisio. “We are looking forward to growing the Aviation program and to providing the future workforce for Southwest Florida.”
The Governor’s Office and Representative Grant received more than two dozen letters of support from Allegiant Air, Charlotte County Economic Development, Economic Development Partnership, CareerSource Southwest Florida, Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, Arcadia Aerospace, Florida SouthWestern State College, Commercial Broker Danny Nix, Turbine Weld Industries, Piper Aircraft, In the Loop Consulting, Hendry County Public Schools, Intrepid Aerospace, FGCU’s Office of Innovative Education & Partnerships, Farlows on the Water, Blackbird Aviation, and the Charlotte County Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.
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About Punta Gorda Airport
The Charlotte County Airport Authority (CCAA), governed by five elected commissioners, owns and operates the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD), located at 28000 Airport Road, five minutes off I-75, exits 161 and 164. PGD provides quick and easy access to Southwest Florida, and is home to commercial air service, air charters, medical transport services, aircraft maintenance and avionics repair, as well as flight schools, distributers and manufacturers. CCAA is a nontaxing entity and operates as an enterprise fund, totally supported by revenue generated from its operations including rental car concession, parking, fuel sales and hangar, building and land leases on its 2,000-acre property. The CCAA is an independent special district pursuant to chapter 189, Florida Statutes, and operates in accordance with FAA requirements and guidelines. A 2018 economic impact study by the FDOT estimated that PGD is responsible for 12,392 jobs and $1.275 billion in total economic output. For more information, visit www.flypgd.com.
Kaley R. Miller
Director of Marketing & Communications
941.639.1101 ext 131