SRQ Airport sets another passenger record in February

Over past 12 months through February, passenger count up 13%

The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport has set yet another record: Its passenger traffic was up 16% in February.

In February 2022, the total was 340,465; this February, the figure was 393,807, an SRQ Airport news release noted.

Additionally, the release said, for the 12 months through February, the total number of passengers the airport staff had seen walk the corridors was 3,976,376, which was up 13%, compared to the 3,519,721 passengers recorded for the 12 months through February 2022.

“We continue to experience steep increases in the number of passengers utilizing our airport,” Frederick “Rick” Piccolo, president and CEO of the airport, pointed out in the release.

In 2022, SRQ set a new, annual record for its passenger count: 3,847,606, which marked a 21.6% jump, compared to 2021 figure, the release added.

Through the first five months of 2022, Piccolo had noted, the passenger tally was up 57%. As the airport reported the counts for each successive month through the end of the year, most of the updates showed month-over-month increases.

In January, an airport news release pointed out, “In 2023, SRQ expects to continue our growth trend with record-breaking passenger numbers each month for the foreseeable future.”

In the latest release, Piccolo noted, “The months of March and April are the two busiest months of the year due to the influx of spring break travelers. Fortunately, airport operations have remained smooth with minimal flight delays, little to no wait times at the screening checkpoint, and ample vehicle parking.”

Members of the staff of Visit Sarasota County — the county’s tourism office — long have pointed to March as traditionally the top month of the year for tourists to come to the county, with students, and families, heading to the beaches, especially, during the spring break period. Over past years, county “bed tax” revenue that is turned over to Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates and her staff has proven to be at its highest in March. The 6% Tourist Development Tax is collected on rentals of accommodations for six months or less time.

Among other details in the latest SRQ news release, Piccolo referenced the “multiple projects that will expand our facility and provide additional amenities for travelers,” which are underway. Among those, he continued, are a new five-gate terminal, a new cell phone waiting lot, additional overflow parking lots, a new ground transportation area, a new baggage handling system, and additional concessions.

All these projects will take time to complete,” he added, “but the result will provide a facility that offers all the conveniences our travelers expect when using SRQ.”

One other bit of news in the release was the fact that, on July 13, Breeze Airways will begin service from Sarasota to Providence, R.I. (PVD).

Last year, SRQ routinely reported new routes.