Friends of Arcadia Airport, Inc.
Welcome To “AVIATION CITY”
The premier airplane camping destination !
A Fly-In/Camp-Out Center
****Restrooms and showers coming soon ! ****
Features: 1. Taxi up to your campsite, park under a beautiful oak and pitch your tent. 2. 20 ft x 30 ft pilot shelter with picnic tables. 3. Large circular brick paver fire hub. 4. Two charcoal grills. 5. Running water and electricity. 6. Clean portable toilets. 7. Close to downtown Arcadia with antique shops, restaurants and many local attractions. ( See taxi diagram below )
Note: You must register in advance to camp overnight at Aviation City.
Go to the Airport Camping tab and fill out the registration form.
We really enjoyed our visit to Arcadia Airport and the campsite! Thank you for your hospitality and the work that you and others have put into making it such a great place to camp. The shower building will be a great addition! We will definitely be back.
Ann & Paul
Aviation City visitors from Minnesota
“Five years ago there was no campground, almost no aviation activity and a hostile City Council that actually prohibited volunteers from doing improvement projects anywhere inside the airport fence. That was the year the RAF held their first Rodeo Weekend fly-in event, where the one camping ‘facility’ was a huge oak that provided shade, after which we all wrote letters to every Council member and the local paper’s editor, praising the hospitality of the volunteers. Many episodes later, those volunteers now have 500+ members in their club, two campgrounds where planes park underneath the shade of many oak trees, huge winter fly-ins for Pancake Saturdays, a supportive Council and City Manger and – most recently after much fund raising – they are about to offer a shower block to their camping visitors, something pretty essential for South Florida flyers.
A tired, dormant WWII training base ignored by its municipal owner in 2012 to a vibrant, fun and hospitable recreational fly-in venue in 2017. It’s almost magic. Except that we all know the reality is that it takes a sustained effort over years for the ‘magic’ to happen. It’s still pretty amazing, though.”
Director , The Recreational Aviation Foundation
“You guys are true pioneers in the development of expanding a small town airport. You have successfully put Arcadia aviation on the map!”
Bob Miller, County Commissioner
“The Friends of Arcadia Airport have prevailed in moving the FAA to accept the fact that Fly-In Camping is truly an aviation activity. The press and recognition that Arcadia Airport has been getting in this area is impressive. The AOPA is using Arcadia Airport as an example of what needs to be done to keep General Aviation alive and well. Others have tried the promotion of Fly-In Camping, but none have been as successful as Arcadia.”
Holes Montes Engineering Firm
Fort Myers, Fl. 33919
Friends, Thank you for all of your hard work. Friends is a huge asset to Arcadia Airport and you guys do so much that it really helps us to be recognized by many pilots from all over! We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for Friends. We will continue to improve our airport, we enjoy working with Friend’s and are thankful this has been a successful year for all of us! You hosted many exciting events this year and I am happy to be a part of it.
Thank you !!! Shelley Peacock Airport manager April 18,2016
Arcadia was named “Aviation City” in 1920-1921 after World War I and the establishment of Carlstrom and Dorr Fields and while Carlstrom Field was still training pilots.
This was long before the British cadets trained at Carlstrom Field during World War II. There are 23 British RAF pilots buried at Arcadia’s Oak Ridge Cemetery who lost their lives during training right here in Florida.
Friends of Arcadia Airport decided to keep the name alive by naming our new Fly-In/Camp-Out Center “Aviation City” in honor of Arcadia’s aviation history.
This unique site is the first such site in the state of Florida and perhaps anywhere in the nation where a pilot can taxi his aircraft right into the campsite and park the plane under beautiful live oaks and pitch a tent.
Please see the Airplane Camping page for more information and registration form.
In 1934 the City of Arcadia bought 225 acres for delinquent taxes. A $10,000 federal grant was acquired to build a hangar and an airfield to be used as a “secondary field” to the Carlstrom Military Airfield located just south of Arcadia during the war. The original field had two turf runways approximately 2,500 feet in length.
A flight school was established on the field about 1946. Then from the mid 70’s through the mid 80’s Pat Hange and Harriet Hamilton operated Lennox Flight School where they trained many aircraft and glider pilots. Both Pat & Harriet are in the Soaring Hall of Fame.
Friends of Arcadia Airport, Inc. was formed Sept 28th. 2012 and incorporated on October 5th, 2012
Board of Directors: Pres. George Chase; VP Rickey Hilton; Sect. Dave Hutchinson; Treas. Ross Clark
All board members volunteer their services to the corporation. The corporation has no paid staff and all funds raised go to support general aviation promotional events, aviation education and related projects at Arcadia Airport.
“Friends” is a non profit 501-c-3 Florida Corporation. We will seek grants and donations that will allow us to carry out our mission. We will sponsor regular events to bring attention to what our Airport has to offer, both for the community and general aviation.
We recently passed the 600 member mark. You do not need to be a pilot to join. So please let us add your name to our email list as a member and include you in our “e-Brief” which will keep you up to date on Airport happenings. Just go to the sign up box (bottom right) and enter your name and email and you will be placed on our member update list.