The Central Florida Region is still largely rural and includes Polk, De Soto, Hardee, and Highlands Counties. There are no airports with scheduled commercial air service in the Region. Commercial Air Service may be obtained through any one of several airports, including Southwest International, Naples, Tampa International, or Orlando International. Significantly, the Region plays host to three major National and International Events. First, the Sun ’n Fun EAA Fly-In, Inc.. Sun 'n Fun has become the second largest fly-in in the world, patterned after and surpassed only by the Experimental Aircraft Association Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Secondly, the Sebring Grand Prix of Endurance is hosted on the Sebring Regional Airport. This intentional event draws an estimated 100,000 race fans. Thirdly, U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, which is also hosted on the Sebring Regional Airport.
In total, General Aviation airports include the host of the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In, the Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport. Also, Sebring Regional; Lake Wales Municipal, Arcadia Municipal, Winter Haven [Gilbert Airport], Avon Park Municipal, Bartow Municipal, and Wauchula Municipal Airports.
Sebring Regional Airport has established a foreign trade zone (FTZ) and a community redevelopment agency (CRA) designation to provide additional long term revenue sources to the airport. Bartow and Lakeland both have air traffic control towers. The most significant military impact on the Region comes from the Avon Park Range. While uncontrolled flights are restricted from crossing the Range, officials at the Range have had a continuous awareness of the civil air problems and open the range for air transit whenever possible.
They are also actively supported by the MPO Advisory Committee, the Polk County Transportation Planning Organization, Polk County Airport Zoning Regulations [Joint Airport Zoning Board], the Central Florida Regional Planning Council (CFRPC), and Florida Department of Transportation District ONE. The Committee's continuing review of the Florida Aviation System Plan and the forthcoming Strategic Planning component will be a critical link in the ability of the State of Florida and the Region to plan appropriate for future visitor, business, and population growth.
Available for review and download are meeting minutes and Committee by-laws. Participation by the public and interested individuals and organizations is encouraged.