Punta Gorda Airport (Florida)
|Punta Gorda Airport
(Formerly Charlotte County Airport)
|USGS 2006 orthophoto|
|IATA: PGD – ICAO: KPGD – FAA LID: PGD|
|Owner||Charlotte County Airport Authority|
|Serves||Punta Gorda, Florida|
|Focus city for||Allegiant Air|
|Elevation AMSL||26 ft / 8 m|
|Sources: FAA, BTS, Airport Website|
Punta Gorda Airport (IATA: PGD, ICAO: KPGD, FAA LID: PGD) is a public use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) southeast of the central business district of Punta Gorda, in Charlotte County, Florida, United States. It is owned by the Charlotte County Airport Authority and was formerly known as Charlotte County Airport.
This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport since it has over 10,000 passenger boardings (enplanements) per year. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 147,698 enplanements in calendar year 2011, an increase of 69.7% from 87,041 in 2010.
The airport has mainly been used for deplanements of single engine and small jet aircraft, but has recently seen a heavy increase in scheduled commercial airline service. The airport is home to the Florida International Air Show, an annual event which has featured various military demonstration teams, such as the United States Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the "Blue Angels"; the "U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds"; and the United States Army's "Sky Soldiers" (173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team) Cobra helicopter team.
World War II
In 1941, just prior to the beginning of World War II, the US Army Corps of Engineers planned and constructed an airfield on the current airport property as a combat pilot training base for the US Army Air Forces' Third Air Force, naming the facility Punta Gorda Army Airfield. By 1944, the base reached its peak in housing 1,000 personnel, including two squadrons of student pilots.
The base initially had forty Curtis P-40 Warhawk aircraft assigned, later transitioning to the North American P-51 Mustang aircraft. Pursuit (i.e., "fighter") aircraft training in the P-40 and P-51 represented advanced phase training for Army Air Forces fighter pilots prior to their being deployed with USAAF operational units in the European and Pacific Theaters of Operation. Punta Gorda Army Airfield was a subordinate command of 3rd Air Force, 3rd Fighter Command at Drew Field (now Tampa International Airport), and also had C-45 Expeditor and C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft assigned for support purposes.
The 27th Service Group, an all-black unit, was moved from McDill Field near Tampa to provide training for support services to the air combat units.
All base officers and some senior non-commissioned officers lived in Punta Gorda, while all student officers and most enlisted men lived in tent structures on the base. Semi-permanent buildings included an operations headquarters, classrooms, supply building, fire station, dispensary, chapel and the control tower. The base also had nose dock hangars, where just the nose of the aircraft was under shelter for repairs.
Following the war, the US Government issued a Deed of Release transferring all of the fixtures and improvements situated on the property to the local jurisdiction of Charlotte County.
Commercial airline service
The airport has serviced several commercial airline tenants throughout its existence, but saw no major commercial operations after the early 1980s in the aftermath of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Commercial operations again commenced at PGD in 2007 when both Skybus Airlines and DayJet began providing flights to and from the airport. Service by these airlines, however, proved to be temporary at best with Skybus and Dayjet ceasing operations on April 5, 2008 and September 19, 2008 (respectively).
Commercial service out of PGD once again resumed on November 22, 2008 when low-cost carrier Direct Air began twice weekly service to 10 destinations across the eastern US. On December 2, 2008 low-cost airline Allegiant Air also announced it would open a new focus city at PGD, and began service to Greenville, SC and Knoxville, TN on March 5, 2009. A third airline, Vision Airlines also commenced weekly flights to Northwest Florida Regional Airport in Destin on March 25, 2011. Vision has since allowed for ticketed flights from Punta Gorda to Atlanta, Savannah, and Asheville via the airline's Destin/Fort Walton Beach hub.
Vision Airlines and Direct Air ended all service to PGD in 2012. Shortly after the collapse of Direct Air, Allegiant grew their PGD presence from three to seven cities and started basing aircraft full-time at the airport. Allegiant continues to grow at PGD; by the end of 2013, Allegiant will serve 20 cities from PGD.
Facilities and aircraft
Punta Gorda Airport covers an area of 1,934 acres (783 ha) at an elevation of 26 feet (8 m) above mean sea level. It has three runways with asphalt surfaces: 4/22 is 7,193 by 150 feet (2,192 x 46 m), 15/33 is 5,688 by 150 feet (1,734 x 46 m), and 9/27 is 2,636 by 60 feet (803 x 18 m).
For the 12-month period ending December 30, 2012, the airport had 74,854 aircraft operations, an average of 205 per day: 96% general aviation, 3% air taxi, 1% scheduled commercial, and <1% military. At that time there were 291 aircraft based at this airport: 81% single-engine, 10% multi-engine, 4% jet, 2% helicopter, and 2% ultralight.
Airlines and destinations
While PGD does have some airline service, it is primarily a General Aviation airport. There is currently 291 aircraft based on the airport, which just over 81 percent are single engine aircraft. There is currently only one airline using PGD as a destination, comprising less than one percent of average number of operations per day. General Aviation comprises 96 percent of the daily operations for the airfield, even though the airline service is the main driving force behind the upgrades improvements that have been done and that are currently being planned. AllegiantAir has service to 12 different states throughout the county, and all of the destinations are small airports like PGD. In 2010 the average fare was $44.87 for a one way domestic fare. A one-way trip today from Punta Gorda to Des Moines only runs about $110 giving most people in Florida an option to travel almost anywhere in the U.S. for a budget minded price (Allegiant). In 2007 the airport built a new terminal to hold the growing number of passengers. It was named the Bailey Terminal after the seven Bailey brothers who were from Punta Gorda, and served in WWII, and the Korean War. It will soon be expanded to accommodate the growing number of passengers the airport houses every year. In 2010 enplanements only totaled 90,240, for the entire year, making PGD the lowest used airport in Florida with airline service. Which is almost 20,000 more than in 2009 with only 63,001 enplanements. Just one year later the total enplanements skyrocketed almost 70 percent to almost 150,000 enplanements in the year 2011
The following airline provides scheduled passenger service:
|Allegiant Air||Allentown, Asheville, Bangor, Cedar Rapids (Begins December 18, 2013), Chicago-Rockford, Cincinnati (Begins February 14, 2014), Columbus-Rickenbacker (Begins February 13, 2014), Des Moines (Begins December 19, 2013), Fort Wayne, Greenville/Spartanburg, Knoxville, Lexington, Long Island/Islip (begins December 20, 2013), Moline/Quad Cities, Niagara Falls, Peoria, Plattsburgh, Portsmouth (NH) (begins February 12, 2014), South Bend, Springfield (IL), Springfield/Branson, Toledo (OH), Youngstown|
- FAA Airport Master Record for PGD ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
- http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Data_Elements.aspx?Data=1, PGD Passenger Origin & Destination Numbers.
- "Punta Gorda Airport". Charlotte County Airport Authority. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- "IATA Airport Code Search (PGD: Punta Gorda / Charlotte County)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- "KPGD – Charlotte County Airport". FAA data republished by AirNav. February 11, 2010. Archived from the original on March 28, 2010.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- "Enplanements for CY 2011" (PDF, 1.7 MB). CY 2011 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 9, 2012.
- Florida International Air Show
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
- Punta Gorda Airport
- PDF brochure from CFASPP
- Aerial image as of December 1998 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective December 12, 2013
- FAA Terminal Procedures for PGD, effective December 12, 2013
- Resources for this airport: