Study recommends name change to Lakeland airport

Posted at 6:02 AM, Sep 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 06:02:23-04

A new study just out recommends the City of Lakeland change the name of its airport to Central Florida International Airport.

The move would help the airport attract new business including the possibility of new commercial service that the city hasn't seen in more than three years.

"I will tell you, it is going to happen," said Gene Conrad, Director of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

Right now, Lakeland Linder looks frozen in time, all its commercial operations came to an abrupt halt in the spring of 2012 when its only commercial carrier, Direct Air went bankrupt and left hundreds of people stranded over spring break.

"When that day comes all we have to do is turn the key. And we're going to be ready to go," Conrad said. "We're looking at flights with Delta to Atlanta for example, or American to Charlotte, or Jet Blue to New York City. We only need a handful of flights."

If everything goes as planned, commercial service will resume in the next two to three years.

The city stands to make more than three million a year in revenue when commercial flights are back up and running, according to the study.

In addition to changing the name of the airport, the study also recommended scurrying US Customs and Border protection so it can start accepting flights from around the world.

Conrad said they are already heading down that path.