The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is celebrating a banner year at last April’s Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo after canceling the 2020 event due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. ACE president John “Lites” Leenhouts announced at AirVenture that almost 200,000 people attended Sun ‘n Fun 2021, beating out previous show records. Net revenue was up by about 5 percent in spite of travel restrictions that kept international attendance down and a 15 percent reduction in the number of exhibitors present.
Leenhouts also announced that construction has wrapped up on ACE’s Skylab, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning center aimed at offering hands-on activities for young people interested in aviation. The project has added 8,000 square feet of convertible space for educational use, events and exhibits, a new lobby and entrance for the Florida Air Museum, a state-of-the-art simulator training lab, holographic theater and planetarium, aerospace resource center and educator planning space. An official ribbon-cutting is planned for next month.
In addition, Sun ‘n Fun will be hosting a second holiday flying festival and car show at Florida’s Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL). The event will take place Dec. 4-5, 2021.