Spotlight On: Tom Nolan, President & CEO, Orlando Sanford International Airport

Spotlight On: Tom Nolan, President & CEO, Orlando Sanford International Airport

2022-07-11T08:00:08-04:00November 17th, 2021|Aviation, Orlando, Spotlight On, Transportation|

Orlando Sanford International Airport Tom Nolan2 min read November 2021 — “Aviation has made the world more accessible and Orlando Sanford International Airport is proud to play a role in the greater Orlando commercial airline transportation network,” said the Airport’s President & CEO in a conversation with Invest:. He shared what makes Florida an attractive location, highlighted the ways the aerospace industry continued to grow, the future of the aviation industry and how the airport’s strategic development plan has continued despite all the challenges the economy has faced.

How has the Orlando Sanford International Airport’s strategic plan been deployed amid the pandemic?

As an airport, we’re looking at COVID as a thing of the past. Our new master plan examines the next two decades with a significant amount of investment toward the airport’s development in order to continue meeting the growing demand and capacity for business and leisure travel. We’ve been moving forward with our Airport’s capital plan and as an air transportation utility and an economic generator.  Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) was on track to serve 3.5 million passengers the year a shock wave hit the world economy.  We chose to keep the momentum by completing a $100 million capital improvement program which included a $75 million terminal renovation, adding more space and  innovation to make it more attractive for our passengers and airline tenants to function more efficiently. We did this because our destiny as the key secondary airport to metro Orlando will continue to grow just like secondary airline service airports in other major US cities like Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, New York and Washington D.C.

How have local and international airline services developed at the airport?

We’re over 20 years old as a commercial airline airport that serves domestic and international airlines, including  Allegiant Airlines as the centerpiece airline, the airport over that time serving over 70 city destinations across the US.  In just the last three months we’ve added two international airlines, Swoop and Flair Airlines, both are Canadian airlines that serve seven destinations. We continue to pursue additional International  and Domestic airlines that will grow the air service choices and attract more passengers to this super-efficient and convenient Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) 

What makes Florida an attractive market and what accommodations must be implemented to manage population growth?

Florida airports are excelling in comparison to other areas in the country because of all the great things it has to offer. Let’s face it, the nationwide challenges of recent years have enlightened citizens outside our state about how great Florida is as an alternative to live, work, and vacation.  Look at the exodus out of the Northeast and West to Florida.  My wife and I moved from California in the middle of the pandemic and we are glad we made that decision.  Orlando itself is a dynamic player in the aerospace industry with a plethora of related businesses. Orlando Sanford International Airport is a contributor to that success in the metro area and we will continue to grow in support of that for decades to come.  

What is the future of aviation and what innovations are becoming more prevalent?

Aerospace is constantly evolving  and changing for the better. It is the pinnacle of innovation by virtue of its nature. There is always something exciting in aviation. Some of the current examples are the development of commercial vertical take-off and landing. Imagine how that will contribute to air transport by creating a new segment to the market.  We also see the press for finding new types of sustainable fuels for aircraft, and a race within the aerospace industry to achieve feasible use of batteries for propulsion energy.

What is your outlook for the airport over the near term?

Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) is going to soar to new levels that will serve the entire Orlando metropolitan area with more airline alternatives and business growth through new jobs that help drive the economy. We appreciate all the millions of passengers and hundreds of tenants that elect to use our airport, and all of those that will also use it in the future.   

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