“We’re like the Whole Foods and Tampa airport is a Publix,” said Rick Piccolo, President and CEO of SRQ airport, when asked why people would fly out of Tampa instead of our lovely boutique airport.
While your particular destination may not be on the roster at SRQ, there’s truly not another valid reason to fly out of Tampa, Clearwater or Ft. Myers if you’re a Sarasota/Bradenton resident, according to Piccolo.
“Consider the time and cost curb to curb,” Piccolo said of travel to Tampa. One might expect ground travel fees, additional gasoline, increased parking fees in Tampa compared to flying out of Sarasota, not to mention the conveniences of being 15 minutes from home before or after travel. Saving $50 or so on a ticket isn’t really worth the time and hassle and clearly, isn’t a huge cost savings.
“We give a real quality level service hard to find elsewhere,” Piccolo said. “Plus it (traveling from Sarasota) keeps your money in your local community.”
Our beautiful local airport is really something to be proud of and it immediately gives the traveler a peek into our distinguished and exciting community. SRQ is set to look and feel even more amazing as it rolls out several new improvements this season, most projects completed or close to completion.
“We just invested $4 million in front of the terminal on curbside improvements,” Piccolo said. This lovely and functional facelift is just about completed with 60,000 new plants, new signage, new roads and roadway markings. Two canopies, one at baggage claim and one at ticketing, will extend over the roadway, providing additional coverage for protection from the weather.
Also new is a Customs Facility to handle increased European charter traffic. What once handled 140 people per peak hour now handles 300 passengers per peak hour.
Drive electric? Located in the short term parking lot, four complimentary EV charging stations provide patrons the opportunity to recharge their electric vehicles while traveling or picking up family and friends.
Traveling with pets? A unique “Relief Station” was just installed past security at gate B2 to accommodate pets and service animals traveling with passengers. This new amenity is equipped with artificial grass and clean up supplies. SRQ also has two outdoor pet relief areas on each end of the terminal building.
Leave your laptop at home? Complimentary iPads are now available on the concourse. Passengers are welcome to surf the internet via the complimentary SRQ Wi-Fi iPads, located at gate B5, and between Starbucks and the Gulf Breeze Café.
Elite Airways is now on board at SRQ with non-stop flights to Portland, Maine. Seasonal non-stops have been added as well, most starting in December, to include: JetBlue to Boston, Delta to Detroit, United to Newark, Delta to New York and WestJet to Toronto.
Non-stop flights year round include: Delta to Atlanta, American to Charlotte, NC, United to Chicago, Delta to New York (LGA), JetBlue to New York (JFK), Elite to Portland, Air Canada to Toronto and American to Washington, DC.
New Air Traffic Control Tower
An FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) is being constructed. Co-funded by SRQ, FDOT and the FAA, the $22 million ATCT will enhance the safety of the airport and free 100 acres of airport land for future development. Construction of this state-of-the-art, 139-foot tower with adjoining FAA training facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
For more information on SRQ Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, visit the website at
Srq-airport.com or call 941-359-2770.
Photos courtesy of SRQ.