SRQ airport records 9% uptick in passenger count for February

Latest news follows reports of new records for December 2023 and January

This is a still from a YouTube video featured on the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport website.

During the month of February, 430,348 passengers traveled through the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), a 9% increase compared to the tally of 393,807 passengers in February 2023, airport staff has announced.

The figure for this February is up nearly 26%, compared to the February 2022 count of 340,465 that the airport staff announced at that time.

The 12 months of passenger tallies through February of this year added up to 4,377,319, the latest SRQ news release notes. That marks a 10% increase, compared to the total of 3,976,376 passengers for the 12 months through February 2023.

In 2022, SRQ set a new, annual record for its passenger count: 3,847,606, which marked a 21.6% jump, compared to the 2021 figure, the airport staff reported at that time.

Then, in 2023, SRQ set yet another record: 4,322,408, which was 12% higher than the 2022 tally, the airport staff pointed out early this year.

“As the number of passengers traveling through SRQ continues to increase significantly, our dedicated airport staff is working diligently to ensure smooth and safe operations for all travelers,” Frederick “Rick” Piccolo, president and CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, pointed out in the latest news release.

“With the surge in spring break travel, we forecast March and April to be our busiest months, as visitors seek a convenient and efficient airport experience on their way to our world-renowned beaches, and myriad … cultural and sports activities in the area,” Piccolo added.

The airport’s passenger counts for the past months stand in contrast to recent visitor numbers recorded by a Tallahassee firm — Downs & St. Germain Research — collected on behalf of Visit Sarasota County, which is the county’s tourism office.

In December 2023, Downs & St. Germain reported 86,640 visitors, a figure that was down 13.5% from the December 2022 count of 100,200.

In contrast, the airport noted 7.5% more passengers in December 2023, compared to the figure for December 2022.

In January, the total number of visitors recorded was 80,300, which marked a 13.4% decline, compared to the January 2023 count of 92,700, Downs & St. Germain noted.

The February tourism data was not available prior to the deadline for this issue of The Sarasota News Leader.