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Orlando Executive Airport
USGS aerial photo as of 28 February 1999
Airport type Public
Owner Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
Serves Orlando, Florida
Elevation AMSL 113 ft / 34 m
Coordinates 28°32′44″N 081°19′59″W / 28.54556°N 81.33306°W / 28.54556; -81.33306
Direction Length Surface
ft m
7/25 6,003 1,830 Asphalt
13/31 4,638 1,414 Asphalt
Statistics (2001)
Aircraft operations 218,162
Based aircraft 242
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Lua error in Module:Location_map at line 510: Unable to find the specified location map definition: "Module:Location map/data/Florida" does not exist. Orlando Executive Airport (IATA: ORL, ICAO: KORL, FAA Location identifier: ORL) is a public airport three miles (6 km) east of downtown Orlando, in Orange County, Florida. It is owned by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority[1] and serves general aviation.


ORL as seen from a commercial airliner, 3-20-2008.

Orlando Executive Airport is a general aviation and corporate aviation airport. Its proximity to the State Road 408 East-West Expressway and downtown Orlando makes it a popular airport. The airport is still the "minor" airport of Orlando, Florida, as Orlando International Airport is the airport for airline flights, drawing more passengers every year.

The airport has been used for special air industry events and showcases including the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention which was held there in 2008 and again in 2009.[2] Orlando Executive Airport has been selected to be the location for the upcoming 2012 and 2014 NBAA Annual Convention and Meeting, as well.[3] The airport has also been used since the 1990s as a landing site and staging site by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (VMX-1) for Marine One and other supporting VMX-1 helicopter operations during Presidential visits to Orlando. Most Presidential visits are on Air Force One which lands at Orlando International Airport (MCO).

Facilities and aircraft[]

Executive Airport covers 1,055 acres (427 ha) at an elevation of 113 feet (34 m) above mean sea level. It has two asphalt runways: 7/25 is 6,003 by 150 feet (1,830 x 46 m) and 13/31 is 4,638 by 100 feet (1,414 x 30 m).[1]

In the year ending April 21, 2010 the airport had 218,162 aircraft operations, an average of 597 per day: 94% general aviation, 5% air taxi and <1% military. There were then 210 aircraft based at this airport: 66% single-engine, 20% multi-engine, 9% jet and 5% helicopter.[1]


Opened in 1928 as the Orlando Municipal Airport, the airport was the first commercial airport in central Florida. The United States Postal Service started airmail service to Orlando the following year.

Emblem of Air University

The United States Army Air Corps took control of the airport in 1940 for use as a training facility and renamed it the Orlando Army Air Base. For the next six years, the airport remained under military control. In June 1941, the Army Air Corps became the United States Army Air Forces and beginning in late 1941 through mid-1943, Orlando Army Air Base was used by I Bomber Command and later by units of the Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (AAFAC) to fly antisubmarine patrols along both the east coast as well as over the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Straits.

Entrance to Orlando Air Base as shown on a postcard.

With the lessening of the U-Boat threat, Orlando AAB became the home of the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT) and subsequently as the Army Air Forces Tactical Center (AAFTC).[4]

In 1943 the AAFSAT began training units in Night Fighter operations. the 481st Night Fighter Group was established, equipped with the Douglas P-70, a variation of the A-20 Havoc attack aircraft used for training. Squadrons attached to the group in 1943 and 1944 were the 348th, 349th, 420th, 423d, 425th, 426th and 427th Night Fighter Squadrons, which, after completion of training were sent overseas to either the Pacific or European Theaters for combat.[5]

In 1946 the airfield was released to the city of Orlando, while the military support facilities north and northeast of the airport remained under US Army Air Forces control as a non-flying administrative and technical training installation. With the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate service in 1947, this installation was renamed Orlando Air Force Base, serving as a technical training facility for the Air Training Command and Tactical Air Command, and as a headquarters installation for the Military Air Transport Service (later Military Airlift Command) and the Air Rescue Service. In 1968 the installation was transferred to the United States Navy and renamed Naval Training Center Orlando. The installation served as one of three Navy enlisted recruit training centers (boot camps) and as home to various technical training schools, to include the Navy Nuclear Power School for officer and enlisted personnel. The 1993 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC 1993) directed that NTC Orlando be closed no later than 1 October 1999. The base property was sold to the City of Orlando, which in turn sold it to private developers. Most of the installation was demolished and residential and commercial properties developed on the site, renamed Baldwin Park.

In 1946 commercial service with National Airlines and Eastern Air Lines began at the now civilian Orlando Municipal Airport. Five years later the airport built its main terminal, a two-story structure with a built-in control tower; this terminal building stood until late 1999. The April 1957 OAG shows 20 scheduled weekday departures: 14 Eastern and 6 National. Eastern had a nonstop to Atlanta; no other nonstop flights left the state.

The August 1955 diagram shows runway 17 4480 ft along the west side of the field, runway 18 5071 ft, runway 4 5422 ft, runway 10R 5313 ft (still called 10R, though 10L was closed) and runway 13 5568 ft.

By the early 1960s development around the airport had made airport expansion unlikely. The airport's 6000 foot main runway wasn't long enough for early jet airliners such as the Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880, so the city and county lobbied the U.S. Air Force to investigate converting McCoy Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command (SAC) bomber base about eight miles to the south, to a joint civil-military airport with commercial jet operations on undeveloped land on the east side of the base and military operations on the west side.

In 1961 the airport was renamed again, this time called Herndon Airport after former Orlando city engineer "Pat" Herndon, the name change being in preparation for moving commercial air service to the new Orlando Jetport at McCoy that was to be collocated at McCoy AFB, the facility which is known today as the Orlando International Airport. By 1968 commercial airlines no longer served Herndon.

In 1976 the City of Orlando ceded control of the airport and transferred the property, its former City of Orlando Aviation Department, and all operational responsibilities to the newly established Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), chartered by the Florida State Legislature to operate and manage all publicly owned airports in Orange County, Florida. GOAA renamed the airport Orlando Executive Airport in 1982 and in 1998 to its present name of Executive Airport.

See also[]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 , effective 2008-09-25.
  4. Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics#School units
  5. Northrop P-61 Black Widow--The Complete History and Combat Record, Garry R. Pape, John M. Campbell and Donna Campbell, Motorbooks International, 1991.

External links[]

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