SRQ Airport breaks calendar year passenger record in just eight months

August count 83% above pre-COVID total in August 2019

Image from the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport website

The number of passengers traveling through the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) in the first eight months of this year totaled 2,034,538, “breaking the all-time calendar year record of 2,010,304 set in 1990,” the airport has announced.

In the month of August, the passenger count added up to 247,900, a news release says. Compared to the figure for August 2020, passenger traffic was 327% higher, the release adds. In August 2020, during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the total was 58,115, the release notes.

The count for this August was 83% higher than the pre-COVID-19 figure of 135,467 in August 2019, the release points out.
“It is amazing to see us break our annual passenger record only eight months into the calendar year,” Rick Piccolo, president and CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, said in the release. “While this incredible growth has resulted in added revenues that resulted in a continued decrease in costs for our airline partners,” he added,” it has created the need for a number of significant capital improvements that the airport is moving on as quickly as possible.”

Piccolo also noted in the release that SRQ is among the few debt-free airports in the United States, adding that “the increased revenue collected will allow us to continue lowering our rates and charges for the airlines serving our airport.”

In the proposed budget for the 2022 fiscal year, he said, which will be presented to the airport board this month, “[T]he average cost per enplaned passenger (CPE), a measurement used by airlines to determine the cost to operate at an airport, will drop by 53%.”

Piccolo explained, “Providing lower operating costs for the airlines that serve our airport will not only make us more competitive but encourages both existing and new carriers to expand air service at SRQ. From our ongoing discussion with airlines, we are confident that SRQ will continue to grow and add additional service over the next year,” he said.

“The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport has no taxing power and operates solely on the revenue generated by its tenants,” the release says. The airport provides an annual economic impact of more than $1.3 billion to the community, the release notes.

SRQ has 10 airlines providing nonstop service to 50 destinations.