At first, it was Wekiva Parkway. Now, in an effort to further increase accessibility from Orlando and Tampa, Mount Dora was awarded a transportation grant to build a municipal heliport downtown. The finalized plans allow for the heliport to proceed on the rooftops of two existing downtown buildings on the southwest corner of 4th Avenue and Donnelly Street. The grant will fund the reinforcement of the roofs, FAA compliance and staffing, as well as a small office facility, according to Aru Keeding, the project's manager.
The project will be complete by September and initial transportation plans expect 3-5 helicopters a week to land downtown, says Keeding. Most of these will be doctors, real estate developers and other professionals doing businesses in the area. Once a helicopter tour operator is selected by a bidding process this fall, flights and tours will depart daily.
The council will vote on the name of the heliport at their May meeting. Keeding (pronounced "Kidding"), says April 1 is the perfect time to begin such a project. Gotcha!