Following last year’s cancellation due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the annual Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo opened its doors to high ticket sales and sizable crowds on Tuesday. According to Sun ‘n Fun and Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) president John “Lites” Leenhouts, event ticket sales had reached around $1.2 million by Tuesday morning, surpassing the previous average of $900,000 in ticket sales at the opening of the show. In addition, 385 exhibitors are in attendance, a less significant drop than expected for one of the first in-person aviation events since the onset of COVID-19.
“We worked with our county officials, our city officials, our state leaders and the national CDC and we came up with what we figured is a really good set of protocols that gives everybody a chance to feel safe,” said Leenhouts. “Having said all that, the world is ready for an aviation event.”
Show organizers stated access to the grounds will not be limited by pandemic protocols. However, indoor spaces such as exhibit hangars will be kept to around half capacity. Sun ‘n Fun, which is the primary fundraising event for ACE, is taking place at Florida’s Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL) from April 13 through April 18.