The Sky is the Limit in the Greater Daytona Region

Aerospace, aviation industries grow in Greater Daytona.

By
Kim Madlom
On Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 15:48
daytona beach fl

Located in Florida's Space Triangle, Cape Canaveral Spaceport is the most active spaceport in the nation, and the Greater Daytona region has reason to celebrate that success.

Greater Daytona is a hub for aviation and aerospace innovation and is the northern tip of the Space Triangle.

"Volusia County, the northern gateway to Florida's Space Triangle, is well-positioned to support the space economy on a larger scale," says Barry Butler, president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Embry-Riddle, which turns out more than a quarter of the nation's pilots, is one of just three NextGen Test Bed facilities in the country – modeling, testing and completing large-scale technology demonstration projects for new satellite-based programs.

Embry-Riddle opened a research park on its Daytona Beach campus in 2017. According to Butler, the park has generated more than $90 million in economic impact in Florida and directly or indirectly created 500 jobs, many of which are high-wage. Twenty companies are located in the park.

The cornerstone building in the research park is the MicaPlex, which serves as an incubator space, giving startup and established companies the advantage of a network of support from the university community and tenant partners as they take products/services from development to market.

Printech Circuit Laboratories (PCL), a prominent global company in the space industry for more than 30 years, chose to open operations in the MicaPlex.

"We are especially pleased to welcome Printech Circuit Laboratories to the MicaPlex," Butler says. "As a leader in the new space sector, Printech adds a powerful dynamic to our growing roster of leading-edge companies that are advancing aviation and aerospace innovation while enriching real-world, hands-on learning opportunities for our students."

PCL's custom circuit-based components are suitable for communications satellites and space missions.

daytona beach fl
Jeff Adkins

Innovation Destination

In addition to Embry-Riddle, Butler points to additional advantages in the region, including its well-educated engineering workforce, established supply chains, strength in advanced manufacturing and prime airport real estate. Butler says the future looks bright for the Greater Daytona region.

"Volusia County leaders recognize the growing opportunity that commercial space activity in and around the Cape Canaveral Spaceport represents for residents and businesses in our county," he says. "With the proximity, logistics, research, education and lifestyle advantages that Volusia County offers, we can build a compelling case for doing aerospace business here."

daytona beach fl
Jeff Adkins

The region has several aviation-related enterprises, including parachute maker Aerodyne Research and light-sport aviation maker SeaMax Aviation, the U.S. affiliate of Brazil's Construções Aeronáuticas, which chose Daytona for its headquarters.

MT-Propeller, one of the world's leading makers of composite propellers for single-engine aircraft, is located at DeLand Municipal Airport. The company's fast, lightweight composite propellers reduce weight, vibration and drag while increasing lift, thrust and lifetime operation.

"Volusia County leaders recognize the growing opportunity that commercial space activity in and around the Cape Canaveral Spaceport represents for residents and businesses in our county." 

Barry Butler/Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, President

Aviation Sector Soars 

DeLand Municipal Airport is part of a network of corporate and general aviation airports contributing to the region's aerospace and aviation assets. DeLand's Sport Aviation Village is developing as a location geared to manufacturing recreational aircraft and related components.

The DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase is a premier annual event that attracts more than 100 exhibitors and approximately 7,000 attendees. The showcase has an annual economic impact of more than $1.5 million.

daytona beach fl
Jeff Adkins

"We very much have a recreational, fun airport while also working to entice the sport and recreational aviation industries to locate and invest here," says Jana Filip, Sport Aviation administrator.

DeLand's Sport Aviation Village is designed to attract recreational aircraft manufacturers, dealers and owners.

"The infrastructure of the village is complete," Filip says. "We're also putting in a self-serve fuel farm. With the addition of a 6,000-square-foot administrative building that opened a year ago and a 24-hour pilot lounge, we are opening our services up more to be more pilot-friendly."

The next phase calls for the construction of several commercial-use hangars and 21 T-hangars. 

"We want to make our airport even better and more user-friendly for small aircraft," Filip says. "We are not trying to be something we are not. Instead, we are working to be the best non-towered airport we can be."

If you'd like to learn more about the Greater Daytona region, check out the latest edition of Greater Daytona Region/Volusia County.