SARASOTA - Beyond holding the title of the fastest growing commercial service airport in the state of Florida, the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport has been awarded the 2022 Commercial service airport of the year award by the Florida Department of Transportation.

“We’ve had a banner year with air traffic, and setting a record in nearly 3.2 million in the calendar year of 2021 and we’re already about 43% of 2021 so we’ll exceed our record for last year, this year and we have a number of projects that are in their design or starting to build phase," said President & Chief Executive Officer of SRQ Airport, Rick Piccolo. 

Over the past four years, the airport has grown from 6 airlines and 12 nonstop destinations to 11 airlines and 53 nonstop destinations.

“The award was based on many factors, aesthetics, safety, security, all the projects you are doing and of course the success of the airport," said Piccolo. 

In 2020, an airport gateway project upgraded the airport entrance signage and landscaping. Parking lots were expanded to accommodate the rapid growth in traffic and the security checkpoint was increased from 4 to 6 lanes. Piccolo says the expansion of the airport and growth of more destinations allows for a more convenient travel for tourists.

“Therefore it enhances the ability of all these tourism sectors  to do things and get more passengers and people here, and as I said, you’re seeing a lot of home building of people moving here so that makes their travel much easier than getting on the highway and spending a couple hours going to another airport," said Piccolo. 

“I think it’s a great reflection of the employee work force, our tenants hat are here and certainly the board as well and the support they give to us as a group," said Piccolo. 

More than $200 million in construction projects have been approved for airport expansion and improvements some including a new five gate passenger terminal, and expansion for aircraft parking, updated baggage handling system and a new rental car facility.

The airport is regularly inspected by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration with outstanding results.