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International Airport

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Prepares for Expansion Amid Record Passenger Growth

| Suncoast Post Staff |

Passenger activity at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) has been on the rise, reaching a historic high of nearly 2.5 million travelers last year, and the airport is gearing up to accommodate even more in the future. Passenger Report.

“We are very fortunate to see such a recovery post-pandemic, thanks to our strong tourism appeal and the many direct flights offered by Allegiant Air, our leading airline,” said Airport Director Tom Jewsbury during a celebratory event on January 23rd.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport

PIE, situated northwest of Interstate I-275, currently provides non-stop routes to over 65 cities, primarily through Allegiant Air. Jewsbury mentioned, “We are now reaching a point to start on a significant expansion of the terminal and to provide future connections with Allegiant and other airlines.”

In the coming spring, PIE will initiate the design work on a $110 million terminal expansion project. This expansion will consolidate TSA checkpoints, add a new level for passenger boarding, and create additional gates, paving the way for more airlines and food and beverage vendors to operate at the airport. Local businesses like Mazzaro’s Italian Market and 3 Daughters Brewing already lease space within the airport.

Construction on the expansion is expected to commence next year, with completion anticipated in 2027. Pending contract approval, New York-based C&S Companies will provide engineering and construction consulting services for the project.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport

While the focus for many small and mid-size airports is on capturing more domestic city connections, PIE is also eyeing the lucrative international travel market. Allegiant offers connections from PIE to Canadian cities, and they are working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to introduce direct flights from PIE to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos in collaboration with Mexican airline VivaAerobus.

To accommodate the growing number of travelers, the airport plans to construct a parking garage. PIE has maximized the available surface parking lots, which often reach capacity during peak travel times. The proposed 1,000-space parking garage is expected to cost more than $35 million, and Jewsbury hopes to initiate the design process later this year.

From the PIE Website- Roadway Reconfigurations- Roosevelt Blvd. and UImerton Road

A major Department of Transportation (DOT) road construction project which impacts travel to and from PIE is underway as preparations are underway for the Gateway Express Project. These changes may create delays and travelers are urged to plan for the extra time needed. This reconfiguration is in preparation for the upcoming Gateway project which will build a new elevated controlled access roadway that connects U.S. 19 and the Bayside Bridge to I-275 in central Pinellas County.

PIE Airport Website

Story compiled from various sources.

Photos from Facebook

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