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Ocala
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Aviation-themed playground proposed for Ocala International Airport

An aviation-themed playground has been proposed for the Ocala International Airport near the restaurant side of the terminal.

According to city staff, the playground would augment the terminal experience by attracting parents and children to the airport to watch the airplanes up-close while playing, hanging, and climbing on the airplane-themed jungle gym equipment.

Aviation themed playground proposed for Ocala International Airport
The proposed design of the playground (Photo courtesy of Ocala International Airport)
Aviation themed playground proposed for Ocala International Airport 1
The length of the playground’s plane would be 27 feet with a wingspan of 22.5 feet (Photo courtesy of Ocala International Airport)

The Airport Advisory Board recently voted unanimously in favor of adding a playground at the airport. The board encouraged staff to work closely with Elevation 89, an airport terminal restaurant, to ensure that the playground setting would not interfere with any outdoor seating opportunities that the restaurant might pursue in the future.

Aviation themed playground proposed for Ocala International Airport 2
The proposed location of the playground (Photo courtesy of Ocala International Airport)

During the upcoming Ocala City Council regular meeting on Tuesday, April 5, council members will vote on whether or not to move forward with the construction of the playground. If approved by the council members, the contract for construction and associated budget resolutions would then be addressed during the council meeting on Tuesday, April 19.

Airport staff has consulted with the Ocala Recreation and Parks Department staff to discuss various aspects of the proposed playground, including location, design, cost, and target audience. The playground, which would have an estimated cost of $156,241, would be funded by the Recreation and Parks and Airport Budget.

The playground would be added to the Recreation and Parks Department’s annual certification and safety inspection schedules. There are currently four other playgrounds located in the southwest quadrant, according to the Recreation and Parks Department.

The Ocala City Council meets at 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue).