Sarasota Bradenton International Airport sees increasing numbers despite COVID-19

Updated: May. 2, 2021 at 10:38 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - According to recent numbers, the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is one of the fastest-growing airports in the country.

After setting records in March, SRQ Chief Executive Officer Rick Piccolo said their seat totals are up 81% over their pre-pandemic levels and hopes the same for April.

“We’ll exceed 300,000 passengers for April once the numbers come in, so the growth has just been phenomenal,” said Piccolo.

Other expansions include Southwest Airlines, which started with the airport 10 weeks ago, which has already doubled the amount of nonstop destinations from eight to 16.

According to a press release, Southwest is “thrilled to strengthen our Mile High Heart with new departures to Midland, Savannah/Hilton Head, and Sarasota/Bradenton.” St. Louis and Kansas City will be getting a new service to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. In the last year, Southwest has added three new destinations to the network with Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Sarasota/Bradenton, and Miami. Piccolo attributes to the growth of the community and the traffic of neighboring airports, which puts the Suncoast on the map.

Traffic to those alternative airports is heavier and therefore makes Sarasota-Bradenton a more attractive choice for travelers. Community growth passengers like Beau Clemmons are noticing as well.

“Coming to this airport is usually the highlight of my trip, the airport seems more populated but the surrounding area,” said Clemmons.

Clemmons has been away from the Suncoast for five years and he says it good that the airport has kept up with the community.

“It’s nice that it has kept up with the growth because it’s a lot smoother checking in with security and stuff,” said Clemmons.

Piccolo said as someone in his position, he loves seeing the growth and expansion, hoping it will keep the Suncoast on the map for years to come.

“The growth has been just amazing especially when we are still somewhat in this pandemic,” said Clemmons.

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