Peter O. Knight Airport

If you find yourself yearning for a charming and intimate airport experience with picturesque views and a laid-back atmosphere, then Peter O. Knight Airport is the perfect destination for you. Located in Florida, USA, this unique airport offers a delightful blend of historical charm and modern convenience. From its beautifully landscaped grounds to its cozy terminal building, Peter O. Knight Airport provides a welcoming haven for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of larger airports. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the area, this hidden gem is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Overview of Peter O. Knight Airport

Peter O. Knight Airport is a small public airport located on Davis Islands, near downtown Tampa, Florida. This airport, with its scenic waterfront location and convenient proximity to the city, serves as a key hub for general aviation operations in the region. With a rich historical background, state-of-the-art facilities, and a commitment to safety and sustainability, Peter O. Knight Airport plays a crucial role in the aviation landscape of Florida.


Situated on the southern tip of Davis Islands, Peter O. Knight Airport boasts a prime location that offers stunning views of the Tampa Bay and downtown Tampa skyline. The airport is approximately six miles southwest of Tampa’s central business district, making it easily accessible for aviation enthusiasts and business professionals alike. Its close proximity to major highways and popular tourist destinations further enhances its appeal.

Current Operations

Peter O. Knight Airport primarily caters to general aviation operations, including private and business flights, flight training, and recreational flying. The airport handles a significant volume of general aviation traffic, providing a vital link for corporate executives, aviation enthusiasts, and flight students. With its convenient location and first-class facilities, the airport continues to attract a diverse range of aviation enthusiasts and professionals.

Ownership and Management

Peter O. Knight Airport is owned by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. The airport’s operations and management are overseen by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which ensures that the airport operates in accordance with federal regulations and provides a high level of service to its users. The dedicated staff and management team strive to create a welcoming and efficient airport environment for all visitors.

Historical Background

Inception and Early Years

Peter O. Knight Airport has a storied history that dates back to its establishment in 1935. The airport was initially known as the Davis Islands Municipal Airport and was commissioned as part of the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. The airport was named after prominent attorney and civic leader Peter O. Knight, who played a key role in advocating for its construction.

Developments during World War II

During World War II, Peter O. Knight Airport served as a critical training facility for military pilots. The U.S. Army Air Corps utilized the airport for flight training and as a base for anti-submarine patrols. The strategic location of the airport made it an ideal training ground for pilots preparing for combat in the European and Pacific theaters.

Post-War to Contemporary History

Following the end of World War II, Peter O. Knight Airport transitioned back to civilian use. The airport underwent several expansion projects to accommodate the growing demand for aviation services in the Tampa Bay area. In recent years, the airport has focused on enhancing its facilities and services, in line with the modern aviation industry’s evolving needs.

Facilities and Infrastructure

Runways and Taxiways

Peter O. Knight Airport features a single asphalt runway, measuring 3,580 feet in length. The runway is equipped to handle a wide range of general aviation aircraft, including small to mid-sized jets and helicopters. The airport’s well-maintained taxiways provide efficient access to the runway, ensuring smooth and safe aircraft movements.

Control Tower and Air Traffic Control

To ensure safe and efficient operations, Peter O. Knight Airport operates a control tower staffed by experienced air traffic controllers. These professionals oversee the movement of aircraft in the airport’s airspace, guiding pilots during takeoff, landing, and taxiing. The control tower plays a vital role in maintaining safety and order within the airport’s airspace.

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Passenger and Cargo Facilities

While Peter O. Knight Airport primarily caters to general aviation operations, the airport also offers passenger and cargo facilities to serve the needs of its users. The terminal building provides a comfortable and welcoming environment for passengers, with amenities such as waiting areas, pilot lounges, and restrooms. Additionally, the airport features cargo facilities to support the transport of goods and packages.

Services and Amenities

Flight School and Training

Peter O. Knight Airport is home to a reputable flight school that offers comprehensive training programs for aspiring pilots. The flight school provides a range of courses, from private pilot licenses to advanced commercial pilot certifications. With its experienced instructors and state-of-the-art training aircraft, the flight school equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful aviation career.

Aircraft Repair and Maintenance

To ensure the continued airworthiness of aircraft, Peter O. Knight Airport offers top-notch repair and maintenance services. The airport houses experienced maintenance technicians and certified repair facilities that can handle a wide range of aircraft maintenance needs. From routine inspections to major repairs, aircraft owners can rely on the airport’s skilled technicians to keep their aircraft in optimal condition.

Restaurant and Customer Services

Peter O. Knight Airport prides itself on providing excellent customer service. The airport features a restaurant overlooking the picturesque waterfront, where visitors can enjoy delicious meals while savoring stunning views of the Tampa Bay. Additionally, the airport offers a range of customer services, including aircraft fueling, rental car facilities, and concierge services, to enhance the overall experience for travelers and aviation enthusiasts.

Flight Operations

General Aviation Operations

As a general aviation airport, Peter O. Knight Airport sees a significant number of general aviation operations on a daily basis. The airport serves as a hub for private aircraft, recreational fliers, and aviation enthusiasts. The efficient runway and taxiway system, coupled with the attentive air traffic control services, ensure the smooth flow of general aviation operations, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for pilots and passengers alike.

Business and Private Flights

Peter O. Knight Airport is a popular choice for business and private flights due to its convenient location and high-quality facilities. The airport’s close proximity to downtown Tampa and major business centers makes it an ideal choice for time-sensitive corporate travelers. Additionally, the airport’s dedication to privacy and personalized services creates an exclusive environment for private jet owners and their guests.

Flight Training Operations

With its flight school and training facilities, Peter O. Knight Airport plays a vital role in the flight training industry. The airport’s comprehensive training programs attract aspiring pilots from around the region, offering them the opportunity to develop their skills and gain invaluable experience. The combination of experienced instructors, state-of-the-art training aircraft, and realistic training scenarios ensures that students receive the highest standard of flight training.

Safety and Security Measures

Emergency Response Policies

Peter O. Knight Airport places a strong emphasis on safety and has well-defined emergency response policies in place. The airport works closely with local emergency services to ensure a swift and effective response to any potential incidents. Regular emergency drills and training exercises are conducted to prepare airport staff and emergency responders for various scenarios, guaranteeing the safety of all those within the airport’s premises.

Security Measures

To maintain a secure environment, Peter O. Knight Airport implements stringent security measures in line with federal regulations. The airport’s security team works diligently to monitor access points, conduct regular inspections, and implement advanced security technologies. By prioritizing passenger and aircraft safety, the airport creates a secure atmosphere for all users.

Incident and Accident Reports

Peter O. Knight Airport maintains detailed incident and accident reporting procedures to document and investigate any occurrences within the airport’s jurisdiction. These reports provide valuable insights and data for safety improvements and enable the airport to continually enhance its operations and procedures. The airport’s commitment to transparency and accountability ensures that any incidents are thoroughly addressed.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Carbon Emissions and Environmental Footprint

Peter O. Knight Airport recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship and actively works to reduce its carbon emissions and minimize its environmental footprint. The airport implements energy-efficient practices, such as utilizing LED lighting systems and optimizing HVAC systems, to reduce energy consumption. Additionally, the airport promotes fuel efficiency and encourages sustainable practices among its users.

Current Sustainability Initiatives

As part of its commitment to sustainability, Peter O. Knight Airport has embarked on various initiatives to promote sustainable practices. These include waste management programs, recycling initiatives, and the implementation of renewable energy sources wherever feasible. The airport also actively engages with stakeholders, encouraging them to adopt eco-friendly practices and participate in sustainability programs.

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Future Sustainability Plans

Peter O. Knight Airport has ambitious plans to further enhance its sustainability efforts in the future. The airport aims to explore alternative fuel options for aircraft operations and expand its use of renewable energy sources. Additionally, the airport plans to collaborate with local organizations to increase awareness of environmental issues and promote sustainability within the aviation industry.

Relationship with Surrounding Community

Economic Impact on Local Community

Peter O. Knight Airport serves as a significant economic contributor to the local community. The airport generates employment opportunities, directly and indirectly, by supporting various businesses and services related to aviation. Additionally, the airport attracts visitors who contribute to the local economy through spending on accommodations, dining, and entertainment, further boosting the region’s economic growth.

Public Outreach and Engagement

Emphasizing the importance of community engagement, Peter O. Knight Airport actively participates in public outreach programs. The airport organizes community events, outreach sessions, and educational programs to foster a closer relationship with the local community. By providing opportunities to learn about aviation and its impacts, the airport aims to cultivate a sense of understanding and support from the community.

Controversies and Local Opposition

While Peter O. Knight Airport enjoys strong support from many residents and businesses, it has faced certain controversies and local opposition over the years. Some community members have expressed concerns regarding noise pollution and the environmental impact of the airport’s operations. The airport continues to engage with these stakeholders, seeking to address their concerns and maintain open lines of communication.

Famous Landings and Visits

Historic Airplane Landings

Over the years, Peter O. Knight Airport has witnessed several historic airplane landings that have left an indelible mark on aviation history. Notable instances include visits by iconic aircraft, such as vintage warplanes and vintage airliners. These landings offer aviation enthusiasts and history buffs the opportunity to witness and experience the grandeur of aviation’s past.

Visits by Prominent Individuals

Peter O. Knight Airport has welcomed numerous prominent individuals, including politicians, celebrities, and business leaders. These notable visitors have utilized the airport’s facilities for their private and business flights, appreciating the convenience, privacy, and high-quality services offered. The airport’s ability to accommodate the needs of these distinguished individuals reflects its reputation as a premier aviation destination.

Aviation Events Hosted

Peter O. Knight Airport has played host to various aviation events that showcase the excitement and thrill of aviation. Airshows, fly-ins, and aviation expos have attracted aviation enthusiasts from near and far, providing a unique opportunity to witness breathtaking aerial performances and explore the latest aviation technologies. These events foster a sense of camaraderie among aviation enthusiasts while promoting the airport as a vibrant hub for aviation activities.

The Future of Peter O. Knight Airport

Proposed Development Plans

Looking ahead, Peter O. Knight Airport has outlined ambitious development plans to cater to the evolving needs of the aviation industry. These plans include expanding the existing facilities, upgrading the runway infrastructure, and enhancing the airport’s technological capabilities. By investing in modernization and expansion, the airport aims to solidify its position as a premier general aviation airport in the region.

Potential Challenges

While Peter O. Knight Airport has a bright future, it also faces certain challenges that must be addressed. The airport will need to carefully manage its growth to ensure sustainable operations without compromising the local community’s quality of life. Balancing the demands of aviation enthusiasts, business travelers, and nearby residents will require careful planning and proactive community engagement.

Outlook for Future Operations

With its strategic location, commitment to safety, and dedication to sustainability, Peter O. Knight Airport is well-positioned for success in the future. The airport’s proactive approach to invest in infrastructure and embrace emerging technologies ensures that it will continue to be an attractive choice for pilots and passengers. As the aviation industry evolves, Peter O. Knight Airport remains committed to providing exceptional services and maintaining its status as a premier general aviation airport.