Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport

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Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport logo.png
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport FL 31 Dec 1998.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerSarasota Manatee Airport Authority
ServesSarasota metropolitan area
Elevation AMSL30 ft / 9 m
Coordinates27°23′44″N 082°33′16″W / 27.39556°N 82.55444°W / 27.39556; -82.55444Coordinates: 27°23′44″N 082°33′16″W / 27.39556°N 82.55444°W / 27.39556; -82.55444
FAA diagram
FAA diagram
SRQ is located in Florida
Location of airport in Florida / United States
SRQ is located in the United States
SRQ (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 9,500 2,896 Asphalt
4/22 5,009 1,527 Asphalt
Statistics (2019)

Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport (IATA: SRQ[3], ICAO: KSRQ, FAA LID: SRQ) is located within three jurisdictions: Sarasota County, the city limits of Sarasota, and Manatee County.[4] Owned by the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority, it is 3 miles (4.8 km) north of downtown Sarasota[2] and 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Bradenton.[5]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 called it a "small hub" airport since it enplanes 0.05 percent to 0.25 percent of total U.S. passenger enplanements.[6]



Before the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport was built, both Sarasota and Bradenton had their own airfields: Bradenton's Bradenton Airport and Sarasota's Lowe Field. Bradenton Airport was established somewhere between 1935 and 1937; while Lowe Airfield was established on January 12, 1930. Bradenton Airport was abandoned at an unknown point during World War 2, while Lowe Field closed in 1961.[7][8]

The airport was considered a replacement to Lowe Field's poor conditions and low capacity. Construction on the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport started in 1939 and opened the following year with CCC and WPA assistance at a cost of $1 million. In May 1941, the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority was created.[9][10]

Name origins

In the 1940s, SRQ was known by its two-character designation, RS. By 1948, growth in aviation demand prompted IATA to coordinate the assignment of three-character codes. The airport initially received the designation "SSO", a short-lived code subject to misinterpretation as the international distress signal, SOS. SRQ was chosen, with "Q" serving as filler text.[11] The airport's IATA airport code, "SRQ", is used as a general nickname for the city of Sarasota and Sarasota area, as exemplified by media outlets like SRQ Magazine,[12] WSRQ radio,[13] and numerous local businesses in the area that include SRQ in their names.

World War II

In 1942 with the United States entering World War 2 the airport was leased to the Army Air Corps and became known as the Sarasota Army Airfield. The Army Air Corps later added 250 acres making the airport 870 acres. The 97th Bombardment Group was the first group, being transferred from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa for training with B-17 Flying Fortresses staying from March to May. The 97th as well did construction and maintenance, including the construction of barracks and runway repair.

After the 97th left, the 92nd Operations Group arrived for training and did construction work also. In June the base was designated as a sub base changing its focus from bombers to fighters because the runways could not withstand the bomber's weight. The 69th Fighter Squadron transferred to the airfield from Drew Army Airfield to train with P-39 Airacobras. Sarasota had sub bases in: Bartow, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers, and Tampa. While; Immokalee, Lake Wales, Punta Gorda and Winter Haven served as auxiliary fields for the base. Training was conducted as well on the base, with 70 pilots graduating on average every 30 days.

On July 25, 1945 a Douglas TC-47B that left out of Sarasota to Lake Charles on a navigation training session crashed after going through a thunderstorm north of Tampa. All 13 crew members died onboard and crashed roughly 20 miles northeast of Tampa.[14]

After 3 years of use, the base officially closed and was transferred to civilian usage in 1947.[15] Despite its transfer, the airport and its facilities deteriorated until the Florida Legislature passed the 1955 Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority Act. This act gave the airport more legal power and guidelines to operate.[16][17]

Post–World War II expansion

National Airlines was SRQ's first airline, moving from Lowe's Field by 1947. Cancer research institute; Jackson Memorial Laboratories considered establishing a laboratory on airport property. The extent of the plan is not known.[18]

By April 1957, OAG showed six NA departures a day. Construction started on a terminal building designed by Paul Rudolph and locally known architect, John Cromwell on August 18, 1958 and opening on May 2 the next year.[19] with: a control tower, ticketing area, offices, gift shop, coffee shop, and a balcony for passengers to watch their planes arrive. In its opening year of 1959, the airport had roughly 22,000 annual passengers. Eastern arrived in January 1961, along with an air mail service as well.[20] The airport's first jet flights were Eastern 727s in winter 1964–65 (though the longest runway was 5006 ft for a few years after that). By the 1960s the airport along with Eastern and National Airlines, welcomed two commuter airlines: Executive in 1964 and Florida Air in 1968. Executive established Sarasota as a maintenance base and later their headquarters from 1968-1971 and flew flights to Tampa and Fort Myers.[9]


By 1970, the airport had five commercial airlines: Eastern, National, Executive, Florida, and for a brief period, Mackey. Despite its continued growth through the 1970s, many airlines services were intermittent. Mackey and Florida both left in early 1970. Florida returned four years later and simultaneously established Sarasota as its headquarters. When Executive Airlines went bankrupt in 1971, it was replaced by Shawnee Airlines for a year and later returned in 1977. A commuter airline named Sun Airlines had flights to several destinations from mid-1974 to mid-1975. The latter part of the decade introduced North Central Airlines in 1978, and Delta the following year.[21]

1976 Presidential election

During the 1976 presidential election, several candidates would visit and/or fly into the airport. On February 23, 1976 Gerald R. Ford and his family flew into the airport on Air Force One while visiting Sarasota on a trip across Florida. He briefly took questions from the press before leaving to go presumably to a hotel. The following day he went to a church service and a barbecue. He gave a brief press conference before flying out of the airport to Tampa.[22] Next week on March 2, Jimmy Carter held a press conference at the airport before speaking to the public at adjacent New College.[23] George Wallace, also visited the airport next month on March 4th.[24][25]

1980s & 1990s

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was a controversial proposal to move the airport by both Sarasota County and Manatee County due to airport overcrowding. An opinion poll was held in 1970 with 66% of voters voting against a new airport.[26] The proposal suggested making the facility into a general aviation airport and constructing a replacement east of future Interstate 75 within Lakewood Ranch.[27][28] However, the airport authority struck down the idea in 1985.[29] In 1989, the facilities were expanded instead.[30]

The airport was designated port of entry status in 1992.[31]

September 11 attacks

Air Force One was at the airport on September 11, 2001. George W. Bush was at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota when Andrew Card first informed him of the September 11, 2001 attacks at 9:05 AM. Bush returned to the airport. The 747 taxied out at 9:54 AM and took off from runway 14 at 9:55 AM flying first to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.[32]

2003 – present

In 2003 AirTran Airways began service at SRQ to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Baltimore–Washington International Airport, and by 2011 the airline served six U.S. cities nonstop from SRQ.

In January 2012, AirTran Airways announced that it would drop SRQ on August 12, 2012 as part of its merger with Southwest.[33]

Delta Air Lines is the carrier with the largest market share out of SRQ, with flights to Atlanta, New York LaGuardia Airport, Detroit, and Boston. The airport has two fixed-base operators: Rectrix Aviation and Dolphin Aviation.

On December 19, 2019, a pickup truck had crashed into the baggage claim causing $250,000 in damage.[34]


The current President, CEO is Fredrick "Rick" J. Piccolo. The airport is governed by the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. The board is six governor-appointed individuals, three from Sarasota County and three from Manatee County, since the airport has portions in each county.[35]


The airport covers 1,102 acres (446 ha) at an elevation of 30 feet (9.1 m). It has two asphalt runways: 14/32 is 9,500 by 150 feet (2,896 x 46 m) and 4/22 is 5,009 by 150 feet (1,527 x 46 m).[2]

In the year ending November 30, 2017 the airport had 101,311 aircraft operations, average 278 per day: 80% general aviation, 11% airline, 8% air taxi, and 2% military. 272 aircraft were then based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 18% jet, 7% multi-engine, 6% helicopter, and <1% ultra-light.[2]

Terminal B

Terminal B is the main terminal at the airport and contains 13 gates numbered from B1 to B14 (B13 is skipped).

Terminal D

Terminal D is the airport's commuter terminal and contains 4 gates numbered from D1 to D4. It is directly attached to the main airport building with its entrance just to the east end of the ticketing area. It has not been in active use since the mid-2000s. Prior to that time, it served primarily turboprop and small regional jet flights for carriers such as Air Sunshine, American Eagle, and Gulfstream International Airlines. Both Terminal B & D opened on October 29, 1989.

Airlines and destinations


Air Canada Rouge Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson [36]
Allegiant Air Allentown, Asheville, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Syracuse
Seasonal: Belleville/St. Louis, Chicago/Rockford, Des Moines, Flint, Fort Wayne, Louisville, South Bend
American Eagle Charlotte, Washington–National
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–LaGuardia
Delta Connection New York–LaGuardia
Seasonal: Boston,[43] New York–JFK
Elite Airways Portland (ME), Vero Beach [44]
Frontier Airlines Cincinnati,[45] Cleveland
Seasonal: Chicago/O'Hare,[46] Philadelphia, Trenton[47]
JetBlue New York–JFK
Seasonal: Boston
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul [50] [36]
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Newark
Seasonal: Denver
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Newark, Washington–Dulles [36]

Destinations map

Destinations map


JetBlue operations at SRQ

Top airlines

Airline and passenger activity (2018)[51]
Rank Carrier Passengers Change




1 Delta Air Lines 656,000 Increase 4.8% 49.82%
2 American Airlines 265,590 Increase 25.9% 20.15%
3 JetBlue Airways 155,000 Increase 13.1% 11.77%
4 United Airlines 117,000 Increase 56.4% 8.89%
Others 123,000 Increase 212.5% 9.37%
Total 1,316,590 Increase 18.3%

Top domestic destinations

Busiest domestic routes from SRQ (September 2018 - August 2019)[51]
Rank City Passengers Change from June 2017 - May 2018 Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 333,570 Increase 12.76% Delta, Frontier
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 109,350 Increase 29.85% American
3 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 62,960 Increase 57.40% American, United
4 Newark, New Jersey 51,590 Increase 75.60% United
5 New York–JFK, New York 47,800 Increase 8.66% Delta, JetBlue
6 Boston, Massachusetts 30,340 Increase 2.64% JetBlue
7 New York–La Guardia, New York 29,030 Decrease 3.65% Delta
8 Washington–National, D.C 22,610 Increase 5.21% American
9 Cincinnati, Ohio 21,660 Increase 212.55% Allegiant, Frontier
10 Cleveland, Ohio 20,940 Increase 0.00% Allegiant, Frontier

Annual enplanements

The table lists annual enplanements from the Federal Aviation Administration's Terminal Area Forecast 2011.[52] An enplanement is a revenue generating passenger boarding an aircraft.[53]

Year Air Carrier Commuter International Total
2004 430,554 123,036 0 553,590
2005 496,976 135,148 3,144 635,268
2006 514,406 159,983 12,828 687,217
2007 608,983 170,184 8,805 787,972
2008 577,942 186,256 9,013 773,211
2009 507,162 153,639 9,904 670,705
2010 514,986 134,339 10,980 660,305
Year Enplanements Deplanements Total
2011 658,929 647,535 1,306,464
2012 640,458 632,457 1,272,915
2013 595,604 592,286 1,187,890
2014 601,486 595,611 1,197,097
2015 612,438 607,925 1,220,363
2016 594,167 592,252 1,186,419
2017 593,830 587,502 1,181,332


  1. ^ "December 2018 Monthly Report" (PDF). SRQ Airport. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for SRQ (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "IATA Airport code Search (SRQ: Sarasota / Bradenton)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  4. ^ "Financial Statements with Management's Discussion and Analysis including Supplementary and Compliance Reports and Schedules For the years ended September 30, 2017 and September 30, 2016" (PDF). SRQ Airport. Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. January 18, 2018. p. 24. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
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  10. ^ "Map |". Retrieved April 13, 2019.
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  19. ^ Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Modern Air Terminal To Open Today (May 2, 1959). "Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved August 27, 2019.
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  22. ^ "2/24 - 29/76 - Florida (1)" (PDF).
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  27. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  28. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved December 21, 2018.
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  32. ^ Pool news report by Judy Keen and Jay Carney on September 11, 2001, posted on USA Today Sept. 11 Resources Archived February 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Jacobs, Karen (January 20, 2012). "Southwest says AirTran to exit six airports". Reuters.
  34. ^ Staff, ABC7. "Surveillance video shows driver of pickup truck smashing through wall and into baggage claim at Sarasota, Fla. Airport". Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  35. ^ "Airport History". SRQ Airport. Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  36. ^ a b c d e f "Nonstop destinations". SRQ Airport. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  37. ^ "Allegiant Announces 10 New Routes and Major Expansion in Sarasota". Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  38. ^ "Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Welcomes 8 New Destinations from Allegiant Air!". Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  39. ^ Finaldi, Laura (September 24, 2018). "American adding flights from Philadelphia to Sarasota-Bradenton". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  40. ^ McMorris, Frances (June 25, 2018). "American Airlines to launch Chicago service from Sarasota this year". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  41. ^ Hoopfer, Evan (May 31, 2018). "American Airlines adds new DFW routes, including this tiny Texas town". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  42. ^ "Delta resumes Boston – Sarasota service in 1Q19". RoutesOnline. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  43. ^ "Delta expands Boston network from late-Dec 2019". Routes Online. May 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Frontier adds Four New Flights from Cincinnati". Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^ "Frontier adds two Florida airports in 11-route expansion". Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  49. ^ "New Non Stop flights to Cincinnati out of Sarasota-Bradenton Airport". Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  50. ^
  51. ^ a b "OST_R | BTS | Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
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  53. ^ "About TAF (Terminal Area Forecast)". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012.

External links