Orlando Melbourne International Airport Executive Director leads thriving hub for aviation
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Orlando Melbourne International Airport Executive Director Greg Donovan, A.A.E. has been selected as the Space Coast Daily Person of the Year for his outstanding leadership and accomplishments during 2018.
The airport serves the Central Florida coast with three runways, a 200,000 square-foot terminal and a 40,000 square-foot customs facility. As executive director of the Orlando Melbourne International Airport, Donovan is responsible for overseeing the authority’s $68.4 million operating and capital budget, and operation of the 2,500-acre airport.
Orlando Melbourne International Airport is also home to major aerospace, engineering and aircraft manufacturing companies such as Northrop Grumman, Embraer, Harris Corporation and Rockwell Collins, and accommodates nearly 500,000 passengers annually, resulting in an annual economic impact of $2.61 Billion to its surrounding community.
Since August 2014, Donovan has secured nearly $100 million in grant funding to support Orlando Melbourne International Airport’s aggressive capital improvement program.
Following an $18,132,588 FAA grant secured in 2017, he recently received $4 million from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to design and construct an enclosure structure at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport to serve as a noise barrier for aircraft engine testing.
During 2018, a new air traffic control tower, three brand new runways and an updated U.S. Customs Federal Inspection Station are just a few examples of Donovan turning continued vision into reality.
His vision included the recruitment of the airport’s first-ever international scheduled commercial service via Porter Airlines, which has since expanded from one nonstop route to three with flights from Toronto, Windsor and the nation’s capital, Ottawa.
Aviation and Aerospace businesses at or adjacent to MLB include: Aircraft Assembly and Manufacturing – Embraer Executive Jets and Discovery Aviation; Aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul – STS Repair and Modification, LLC, Apex Executive Jet Center, AAR Corporation, FIT Aviation and Heck Air; Aviation Training – FIT Aviation and East Florida State College; Avionics – Rockwell Collins, Avidyne Corp, Southeast Aerospace, LiveTV and Symetrics; Space, Aerospace and Defense –Harris Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, L3 Communications and DRS Tactical Systems.
In recent years, the airport has experienced tremendous growth under Donovan with new and/or expanded facilities by its major tenants, including:
• Sheltair Aviation – a hangar developer at MLB since 1988. The company has constructed numerous T-hangar buildings and several aircraft storage and maintenance hangars at the airport.
• Apex Executive Jet Center (FBO) – established a new FBO facility and aircraft maintenance hangar in 2008 (formerly Baer Air) and then expanded with another hangar and additional apron space in 2017.
• Embraer Executive Jets – the company selected MLB in 2008 to establish its North American Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 assembly and showroom facility. In 2012, the company announced a major expansion of its campus at MLB with the addition of new facilities and the Embraer Engineering and Technology Center USA for research and product development, in effect doubling its initial presence.
• Florida Institute of Technology Research Park (Florida Tech Research Park) – in 2009, the Melbourne Airport Authority and FIT set aside a 100-acre parcel for use as a technology park to enhance and expand Brevard County’s technology-research infrastructure and create jobs for the Space Coast. FIT actively promotes the Florida Tech Research Park to attract business, government, and academic allies to identify, facilitate, and accelerate innovation so it can more rapidly be brought to market.
• Kindred Hospital – the long-term, acute care hospital was opened within the Airport Industrial Park (2010)
• Discovery Aviation – since 2011, the company manufactures aircraft (Discovery XL-2 and Discovery 201) and produces aerospace composite structures at MLB
• Florida Institute of Technology Aviation Programs – located at the airport since 1968, FIT Aviation relocated and modernized its education, flight training, research, and FBO facilities (2009)
• STS Repair and Modification, LLC – established a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) station at MLB in 2017, primarily servicing commercial service airline aircraft. They took over the 83,000 square foot state-of-the-art hangar at MLB that was previously occupied by AeroMod International.
• Northrop Grumman Corporation – located at MLB since 1987, has recently initiated a $500 million capital investment to expand its aerospace and defense-related research, engineering, development, testing, production facilities at MLB (ongoing)
• Harris Corporation’s continued investment in its headquarters located adjacent to MLB
• Other notable MLB tenants include AAR Corporation (aircraft maintenance), Southeast Aerospace (aerospace components and services), Circles of Care (hospital), Rockwell-Collins (aerospace and defense), and several technology firms, such as Ricoh USA and Revolutions Technologies.
Donovan has been a major driver in making the Orlando Melbourne International Airport a thriving hub for aviation, aerospace and high-technology business as the airport’s infrastructure and engineering-oriented workforce have attracted businesses that contribute billions of dollars of economic impact to the Space Coast.
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