NewsPolk County


Upgrades to Lake Wales Municipal Airport to attract more pilots

Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 18:30:33-05

LAKE WALES, Fla. — The Lake Wales Municipal Airport is getting much needed upgrades. The general aviation airport has recently extended its main runway and added new taxiways.

“Pretty much anything that needs to come in here, can land here. It's long enough,” said Amanda Kirby, Lake Wales Municipal Airport Manager.

Now they are a step closer to having a new fuel farm.

“We’re going to have two 12,000 gallon tanks. They’re called self-serve fuel farms because the airplanes will pull right up to the fuel farms themselves. It’s just like you go to the gas station, and you swipe a credit card,” said Kirby.

More than 10,000 aircraft come through this airport a year.

The airport manager tells me the new fuel farm will pump fuel quicker than the current outdated system, increasing efficiency tremendously.

“A jet can take 500 gallons at a time or more. It can take him an hour to pump 500 gallons of fuel. You’re staying out here in this Florida sun for an hour, you’re going to be miserable. So, it has a much higher fuel flow rate,” Kirby said.

The City of Lake Wales received a grant of $803,250 from the Florida Department of Transportation to install the new system. The enhancement will be complete later this year. It's expected to attract larger jets to the city and allow pilots to stay for longer periods of time.

“The new fuel farm ramp that we built that the fuel farm is going to actually sit on. This ramp is for transient pilots to stay come in and stay overnight,” said Kirby.

Helping the local economy take off.

“It’s obviously boosting our economy lot in Lake Wales just bringing people to Lake Wales in general because there’s a lot of people that didn’t know this airport existed and now it’s getting more publicity,” Kirby said.