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Aviation and Spaceports Office

Office Manager
Aaron N. Smith
State Aviation Manager

605 Suwannee Street
MS 46
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Tel: 850-414-4500
Fax: 850-414-4508
E-Mail Us

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Florida is fortunate to be served by one of the most comprehensive and progressive airport systems in the country. The Aviation and Spaceports Office develops the Florida Aviation System Plan, promotes the development and improvement of Florida’s airports and spaceports, regulates airports and protects airport approaches. Major activities include aviation system development, aviation grant program, airport regulation, intergovernmental coordination, aviation outreach and aviation emergency operations management.


Amendment of Chapter 333, Florida Statutes, Airport Zoning
Posted: May 25, 2016
Chapter 333, Florida Statutes (F.S. 333), Airport Zoning, was amended during the 2016 Legislative Session by Senate Bill (SB) 1508 and House Bill (HB) 7061. These two bills both amend F.S. 333 but since HB 7061 was passed after SB 1508 it has precedence as the amendment to F.S. 333. HB 7061 revises and repeals certain sections of F.S. 333 which will require modification of existing Airport Zoning Regulations previously adopted by local political subdivisions. HB 7061 becomes effective July 1, 2016, and provides that “any airport zoning regulations in effect on July 1, 2016, which includes provisions in conflict with this chapter shall be amended to conform to the requirements of this chapter by July 1, 2017.” The Department takes the position that although the HB 7061 becomes effective July 1, 2016, Airport Zoning Regulations that comply fully with the existing F.S. 333 (pre-July 1, 2016), remain in effect until July 1, 2017 or when revised by the political subdivision to comply fully with the amended F.S. 333, whichever occurs first. The Department is in the process of drafting an analysis of the amended F.S. 333 and will post it to the Airport and Airspace Protection webpage as soon as possible. A copy HB 7061 are posted to the Documents & Publications webpage.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
Posted: Decemeber 10, 2015
While remote-controlled aircraft have been in use for decades, improvements in engine technology, battery life, and the miniaturization of components have resulted in decreased costs for easy-to-operate UAS. These lower costs have caused UAS use to grow, with many companies looking to take advantage of this newly-available technology. The potential uses of UAS range from infrastructure inspections, surveillance of crops, and aerial mapping to package delivery and event videography. In an effort to educate airports, UAS operators, law enforcement, pilots, and the general public about UAS operations, FDOT Aviation and Spaceports Office has developed a website with a complementary brochure that can easily be disseminated to pilots, elected officials, community associations, and other interested individuals or groups. The website and brochure summarize current federal guidance and state statutes related to UAS operations. Additionally, the website and brochure provide tips for airports, operators, law enforcement, and the public, as well as numerous resources where additional information may be obtained.

Southeast Airport Disaster Operations Group
Posted: September 11, 2015
The Southeast Airport Disaster Operations Group, or SEADOG, is an informal collection of airports who have come together to provide operational assistance to airports hit by natural disasters, such as hurricanes or floods. SEADOG coordinates fast responses to specific operational needs, supplying teams of volunteer airport staff and necessary equipment needed to return an airport to operational status. SEADOG works closely with WESTDOG, its Western U.S. counterpart. Participation in SEADOG is voluntary and open to all.

2015 Aviation Award Winners
Posted: September 11 2015
Aviation Professional- Joe Lopano
Distinguished Aviation Service- Marvin M. Buford
Distinguished Aviation Service- Peter B. Modys, A.A.E.
Distinguished Aviation Service- Thomas J. Nichols
General Aviation Airport – Witham Field
Commercial Service Airport- Southwest Florida Int’l Airport
General Aviation Airport Project- Runway Safety Area Project Flagler County Airport
Commercial Service Airport Project- Closed Circuit Television System Southwest Florida Int’l Airport

United We Stand Specialty License Plate
Posted: Jan 6 2014
As you drive around Florida you will notice a variety of Florida license plate designs. In addition to the standard state license plate that is most common, Florida allows drivers to select from more than 120 unique license plates. Florida has license plates for a variety of family, environmental, charitable, and other causes. If you work in the aviation industry, enjoy recreational flying, or are concerned about our national security, you may want to consider purchasing the United We Stand specialty plate. (Created by an Act of the Florida Legislature in 2002 to support Secure Airports for Florida’s Economy.) Revenue goes to the Department of Transportation to fund security-related aviation projects pursuant to Chapter 332, Florida Statutes and to provide training related to airport security and management. Last year, security assessments were conducted at 86 airports and specific projects were funded at 10 airports as a result.

NextGen Transportation System
Posted: May 1 2013
The Next Generation Air Transportation System is a transformative change in the management and operation of how we fly. NextGen enhances safety, reduces delays, saves fuel and reduces aviation's adverse environmental impact. This comprehensive initiative, which is already providing benefits, integrates new and existing technologies, including satellite navigation and advanced digital communications. Airports and aircraft in the National Airspace System will be connected to NextGen's advanced infrastructure and will continually share real-time information to provide a better travel experience.

Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program
Posted: May 1 2013
During the past century, wildlife-aircraft strikes have resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives worldwide, as well as billions of dollars in aircraft damage. In 2009, US Airways flight 1549 collided with a flock of Canada geese shortly after departing from LaGuardia International Airport (LGA). That incident in particular increased public awareness of wildlife strikes and highlighted the many challenges associated with balancing of wildlife hazards and safe airports operations.

Airport Watch Program
Posted: May 1 2013
AOPA has partnered with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to develop a nationwide Airport Watch Program that uses the more than 600,000 pilots as eyes and ears for observing and reporting suspicious activity. The Airport Watch Program includes warning signs for airports, informational literature, and a training video to teach pilots and airport employees how to enhance security at their airports.