The Sarasota-Bradenton airport dates back to 1939 when Sarasota and Manatee counties decided to jointly construct an airport to service the needs of the two counties. The new joint airport was ready in 1942 at the cost of one million dollars. The airport was then leased back to the government as a Fighter Pilot Training base during World War 2. After the war, the Federal Government transferred the land back to the Airport Authority. Over the years, many improvements were made; by 2002, the main runway was extended by 9,500 feet.
Currently, the airport has nine airlines operating out of a single terminal labeled as Terminal B.
The airport is relatively quiet even at peak times and does offer some very nice amenities, including a few shops, a bar, and a full-service restaurant. The airport does see rather large aircraft servicing the airport daily with Delta and American using Airbus A321 aircraft to both of their hubs being Atlanta and Charlotte.
Here are where each airline flies nonstop to and from SRQ
Air Canada Rouge: Seasonal service to Toronto-Pearson
Allegiant Air: Allentown, PA*, Asheville, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus–Rickenbacker, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Knoxville, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Syracuse and seasonal service Belleville/St. Louis, Chicago/Rockford, Des Moines, Flint, Fort Wayne, Louisville, and South Bend
American Airlines/Eagle: Charlotte, Washington–National and seasonal service to Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth*, and Philadelphia
Delta Airlines/Connection: Atlanta and New York-LaGuardia with seasonal service to Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, and New York-JFK
Elite Airways: Portland (ME), Traverse City, and Vero Beach
jetBlue Airways: New York-JFK and seasonal service to Boston
Frontier Airlines: Cleveland, Cincinnati and seasonal service to Philadelphia and Trenton
Sun Country Airlines: Seasonal service to Minneapolis/ St. Paul
United Airlines/Express: Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington Dulles, and seasonal service to Denver begins in March of 2020.
*The Dallas/Ft. Worth flight is becoming daily in 2020.
*The Allentown, PA flight begins in February of 2020.
The word "International" was added to the Airports name in November 1992 when the US Customs service agreed to give the "Port of Entry" status to the airport. Today the airport has stated that they are hoping to become an international destination in the very near future eventually.
Some experts think this is highly unlikely due to the close proximity of the Tampa International Airport, which is only 50 miles away and already has ties to Europe with daily nonstop flights.
Allegiant Air has recently begun service to numerous destinations multiple times a week, which is an excellent beginning for some promising growth at the airport!
The airport does have a Customs facility located in the bottom of the main terminal and is capable at the moment of handling charter flights from international destinations. While I was at the airport, I saw a private Cessna Citation pull up to the terminal for customs inspections before taxiing over to the general aviation area. It was a pretty unique and neat sight to see.
The TSA area dos offer TSA pre-check, and from where I could observe, the lines were not too long, so if you are running a little late, I would not worry. Overall, SRQ is a great little airport with many new and exciting things to come.
We hope this airport guide helps you to travel through Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport with a little more ease!
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