Orlando Sanford International Airport Facts
Orlando Sanford International Airport is in Sanford, Florida, near Orlando. It was built as Naval Air Station Sanford, a Master Jet Base for carrier-based attack and reconnaissance aircraft until 1969.
Due to flight training, the airport is consistently in the top 30 busiest airports in the world in terms of total flight operations. It is the Orlando area's secondary commercial airport, but is farther away from downtown Orlando and the major theme parks than the primary airport, Orlando International Airport.
The airport is owned by the Sanford Airport Authority, but is operated by Airports Worldwide, a company based in Houston that is majority owned by the Ontario Municipal Retirement System in partnership with the Houston Airport System and Airport Development Company. Airports Worldwide is same company that owns Belfast International Airport, Stockholm Skavsta, Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, Mariscal Sucre International Airport & Juan Santamaría International Airport and owner of TBI AM, operator of five management contracts in US.
Because of that affiliation, passenger traffic at Orlando Sanford International Airport was once dominated by European charter carrier service. However, since 2008, a majority of passenger traffic has been domestic, attributable to the entrance of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, for which Sanford is a focus city. Sanford was also a small focus city for the travel marketer Direct Air until the company's demise in 2012.