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SRQ airport surpasses 4.3 million passengers, up 215% since 2018

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 12:15 p.m. January 12, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Passenger traffic at SRQ increased by 3 million passengers from 2018 to 2023.
Passenger traffic at SRQ increased by 3 million passengers from 2018 to 2023.
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport officials have released 2023 year-end passenger traffic data, and, no surprise to anyone who has flown in and out of SRQ, it’s been busy. 

The airport, according to a statement, had 4.3 million passengers in 2023. That’s up 12% over 2022, when it had 3.87 million passengers. In December, the airport, known locally by its SRQ call letters, had 406,113 passengers. That’s up 7.5% over December, 2022, when it had 377,775 passengers.

More growth nuggets include:

  • Airport traffic is up 215% since 2018, when it had 1.3 million passengers. 
  • Airlines that serve SRQ have expanded from six to 11 since 2018. 
  • Nonstop destinations have increased from 5 to 12.

“The record-breaking growth we have seen over the past 5 years has been phenomenal,” SRQ President and CEO Rick Piccolo says in the statement. “This significant growth has presented various challenges for management who have been diligently working to meet the airport's evolving needs. Over the past five years, several essential construction projects were successfully accomplished.”

That list includes expansion of the jet fuel storage facility, which tripled in size; the enlargement of the screening checkpoint by 33%; and the creation of additional parking lots. The airport is undertaking several ongoing projects, including constructing a new concourse with five additional aircraft gates, expanding the ground transportation area and adding new food and beverage concessions. A new five-gate terminal is projected to be completed by December and open to the public in January 2025. 

While SRQ’s growth is notable to any passenger (or people dropping off or picking up visitors), two other airports in the region are bigger in terms of passenger traffic. Southwest Florida International Airport had 10.3 million passengers in 2022, and Tampa International Airport had 21.53 million, according to airport blog Simple Flying. Both Orlando International and Miami International had over 50 million passengers in 2022. 



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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