Flight Training in Southwest Florida

Learning to Fly in Southwest Florida

by Brian Williamson

Making the choice of where to learn to fly involves quite a few decisions. Not the least of which is, will I enjoy the environment I train in? That question was first posed by the United States Army in 1942 when they established the Naples Army Airfield. The military used the facility for several years to serve as a primary flight training base for fledgling pilots. They flew Fairchild PT-19s back then. A primary trainer that had no bad habits and served well as the starting point for many a young pilot’s career. 

Low wing, single engine, fixed gear aircraft like the Fairchild have been a fixture on the field at Naples for many decades. Of course, the airplanes we use today are built of aluminum or composite structures. They carry trusted, venerable names like Cessna 172 and Cirrus SR22. The days of training pilots to fly airplanes with wooden wings are well behind us now. 

The field at Naples Airport has grown and improved over the years, too. Just as the airplanes have become more modern, safer, and more capable so has the facility itself. Covering 732 acres of prime real estate, the airport is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the famously pristine beaches of Naples, Florida on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Rexair facility is split, with the maintenance hangar on one side of the field and the flight training center on the other. This allows flight students to focus on their flight instructor, their aircraft, and their lesson plan without the distraction of mechanics wrenching on airplanes in the same hangar. At the same time it allows our maintenance crew to work freely to keep our airplanes up and running smoothly, as well as those of our maintenance customers, without inconveniencing flight students or pilots who might be walking through the hangar or across the ramp to their training airplane. 

Naples, Florida is a unique, highly desirable, world-famous destination for a whole long list full of reasons. Being an ideal place to learn to fly is just one. Once you set foot here in Naples and make your way to our door at Rexair, we think you will agree. Southwest Florida is a great place to learn to fly. The history of the place, the quality of the airplanes, the professionalism of the staff, and the sunsets…oh, yes. Naples, Florida is the whole package and then some.