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10/2/2013 - Orlando Executive Airport Marks 85 Years of Aviation History


Orlando Morning Sentinel Front Page
Orlando Morning Sentinel Front Page

ORLANDO, FL. – This weekend marks the 85th Anniversary of Orlando’s first airfield. On October 4, 1928, Orlando Municipal Airport, which would later be renamed Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), was officially dedicated. Two days of celebration on October 4 & 5 attracted approximately 40,000 people from all over the state and was headline news in the Orlando Morning Sentinel.

The airport’s history began in 1926 when the City of Orlando purchased 160 acres of grove land on the eastern outskirts of the city along the north shore of Lake Underhill. Two years later, the 65-acre airport began service with its pair of 2,600 foot grass landing strips.

Highlights of ORL’s 85-year history include:

  • 1951 New passenger terminal
  • 1961 Renamed Herndon Airport
  • 1965 Devoted exclusively to General Aviation
  • 1982 Renamed Orlando Executive Airport
  • 1995 New air traffic control tower built
  • 2007 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility opens

1928 Dedication Ceremony of Municipal Airport
1928 Dedication Ceremony of Municipal Airport

Today, Orlando Executive Airport is among the country’s busiest General Aviation airports with a total annual economic impact of $245.5 million. The airport features two paved runways of 6,004 & 4,625 feet and is serviced by two Fixed Base Operators, Showalter Aviation and Sheltair. ORL is capable of handling a variety of aircraft from single engine planes to the largest corporate jets.


For more information contact Carolyn Fennell or Rod Johnson in the Office of Public Affairs at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority at 407-825-2055.

           Local Time: 8:25 AM      Local Conditions: Mostly Cloudy   50.0° F
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