Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Airport TIKI's, FBO's and what's ahead for St. Lucie County International Airport

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin, airport manager
Todd Cox, show co-host Robin Hicks-Connors,
St. Lucie County Tourism Manager Charlotte Lombard,
and APP Jet Center manager Chris Hambleton.
Hitting the road for a short drive north on U.S. Highway 1 to do the show from the St. Lucie County International Airport was a fun excursion.  St. Lucie County Tourism Manager Charlotte Lombard had tipped off Talkin’ Tourism that the airport terminal, as well as the US Customs and Border Protection facility, were set for a remodel.  When Radio Man arrived, airport manager Todd Cox along with Chris Hambleton, manager of APP Jet Center, were ready and waiting. Thanks for the great St. Lucie County hospitality!

Todd set the stage by providing some historical background and general information about the airport. Questions before making the trip were is the airport big, and if yes, how big? Surprisingly, the St. Lucie County International Airport is actually larger in land mass than Miami International! WOW! Although it is an “international airport” there is no regularly scheduled commercial service. Show discussion revealed why there isn't regularly scheduled service and what exactly the remodel is that Charlotte tipped us off to.

FBO’s—what are they?  Listeners found out that airports, just like truck stops and rest areas on highways, must provide service to their customers (people and aircraft). Chris Hambleton, APP Jet Center manager, gave a great overview on what FBO's actually do. In addition, he revealed St. Lucie County International Airport also has a great breakfast and lunch restaurant called the Airport TIKI, which is very popular with the locals. Table for two with a window view please! 

Charlotte Lombard, St. Lucie County Tourism manager, gave her views on the tourism impacts the remodel will have. This is especially important because tourism bed tax dollars are being used. It is truly amazing how many visitors access the Treasure Coast via private and general aviation, which is another important part of the tourism industry.

Regional upcoming events, This Week in History, Grand Bahama Island’s  Top 10 Restaurants as rated by TripAdvisor, and more rounded out the show.

If you missed the live broadcast, grab a paper airplane, sit back, click on the show's audio file, and get ready to learn all about the St. Lucie County International Airport, FBO's and other aviation tidbits. If you're not from the Treasure Coast, you can learn more about visiting St. Lucie County here. And, last, if you've never visited the airport, check out the slide show below to see a few clips Gary snagged after the show.

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