New flight school facility set to open in Kissimmee

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Kissimmee Gateway Airport is unveiling a major new addition next week, but only Channel 9 Eyewitness News got a sneak peek Wednesday.

The new facility sits on the southeast corner of the 900-acre airport and will be the new home of the SunState Aviation Flight School.

Area leaders said the expansion is expected to bring a boost to the airport and the city.
Wes Krahn came to Kissimmee from Pennsylvania in October to pursue his lifelong dream.

"I've always been fascinated with planes and flying," said Krahn.

He said good reviews led him to SunState aviation for his pilot training.

Now the school anticipates their new facility will draw even more students.

The 16,000-square-foot facility was been completed after a year of construction.

The $1.9 million project was paid for in part by a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

The new building sits right next to the old facility which was built in the 1970s. Regulations have changed so that the old building has to be torn down because it sits too close to the runway.

The new building will be the new home for the school's accelerated pilot training programs.

"Private pilot course in 21 days, instrument rating in 14 days. Zero to commercial (license) can be done in as little as three months," said school director Mike Camelin.

Camelin said the programs are in demand and the new building will help them expand on the hundreds of students who attend this school every year.

"This is drawing people from all over the country and other countries too," said Camelin.

He said every student is a boost to the local economy and this expansion will only help put the school and the city on the map, in an industry that's on the rise.

The new facility will have its grand opening next week.