14:19 PM

ICON arrives in Tampa Bay

(November 3, 2016) Peter O. Knight Airport on Davis Islands is now home to a new aviation company that is making big waves in the aviation industry for its unique and innovative light sport aircraft. 

On Wednesday, HCAA CEO Joe Lopano joined executives with ICON Aircraft to officially open the company’s East Coast Flight Training Center for its A5 plane. The GA airport will serve as a convenient hub where A5 buyers and the general public can complete flight training and rent the A5.

The amphibious aircraft can take off and land from both the water and a standard runway, flying at speeds up to 109 mph and has a range of about 400 nautical miles. It features folding wings that make it possible to hitch up to a vehicle and haul it just like a boat.

Peter O. Knight, with its close proximity to the water and downtown Tampa, is an ideal airport for the new training center, said ICON Aircraft Founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins.

“If I were to actually take a clean slate and design a flying environment for us, it looks about like this,” he said. “This is a fantastic place to be.”

The goal of the company is to make flying more fun and more available to everyone – to bring back the romance to it.

“This is about moving you emotionally – about getting you out to explore the planet,” he said.

Lopano called this an awesome opportunity.

“We're excited that ICON chose Peter O. Knight Airport to serve the needs of its customers and aviation enthusiasts,” he said.

Lopano recently took a test flight and said the experience was stunning. “It’s just so awesome to be able to fly over these beautiful areas that we have in Tampa and still be so close to a big city,” he said.

With production on the aircraft beginning earlier this year, ICON Aircraft is a unique tenant for the Airport’s general aviation airport with the potential for tremendous growth.

The Flight Center offers training programs for various levels of experience, from seasoned seaplane pilots to novices. Programs range from a 90-minute introductory flight to a 150day full sport pilot license with water endorsement.

To register for training or learn more about the ICON Flight Center, please visit iconaircraft.com/ifc or call (707) 564-4100.