Now that two of the busiest months for the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport are over, officials can now focus on the airport’s $73 million expansion project that was started to catch up with passenger numbers.
April proved to be another busy month with 451,036 passengers traveling through the airport, a 17% increase over April 2022. It was the airport’s busiest April on record, according to a press release.
Over the past 12 months, through April 2023, there have been 4.11 million passengers recorded at the airport. Additionally, there was an 18% increase in passenger number during the first four months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
“We continue to see strong growth in the number of flights, destinations and passengers using SRQ,” Rick Piccolo, president and CEO, says in a statement. “With our peak travel months behind us, we are now focused on completing several multimillion-dollar construction projects to better accommodate increased demand.”
The five-gate terminal expansion, which broke ground in March, isn’t the only project SRQ is tackling. There’s a new cellphone waiting lot, additional paved parking areas, new ground transportation pick-up area and new baggage screening system also planned.
The new terminal is connected to the east end of the ticket wing and will add 75,300 square feet to the airport. The expansion includes a four-lane security checkpoint and five boarding hold rooms with enough room for 970 seats.
“These various projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and will substantially increase capacity at the airport, allowing airlines to add more flights while providing passengers the service and amenities they are accustomed to when traveling through SRQ,” Piccolo adds.
Just five years ago, SRQ had six airlines with 12 nonstop destinations. The airport now has 11 airlines that serve 55 nonstop destinations.