Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport

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Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport logo.png
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport FL 31 Dec 1998.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerSarasota Manatee Airport Authority
ServesSarasota metropolitan area
LocationSarasota, Florida
Manatee / Sarasota counties
Elevation AMSL30 ft / 9 m
Coordinates27°23′44″N 082°33′16″W / 27.39556°N 82.55444°W / 27.39556; -82.55444Coordinates: 27°23′44″N 082°33′16″W / 27.39556°N 82.55444°W / 27.39556; -82.55444
FAA diagram
FAA diagram
SRQ is located in Florida
Location of airport in Florida / United States
SRQ is located in the United States
SRQ (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 9,500 2,896 Asphalt
4/22 5,009 1,527 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Aircraft operations7,950[1]

Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport (IATA: SRQ[3], ICAO: KSRQ, FAA LID: SRQ) is located partially within Sarasota County, City of Sarasota, and Manatee County. Owned by the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority, it is 3 miles (4.8 km) north of downtown Sarasota[2] and 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Bradenton.[4]

The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 called it a "small hub" airport since it enplanes 0.05 percent to 0.25 percent of total U.S. passenger enplanements.[5]



Before the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport was built, both Sarasota and Bradenton had their own airfields. Bradenton's Bradenton Airport and Sarasota's Lowe Field with both of them being unpaved. Bradenton Airport was established somewhere between 1935 and 1937; while Sarasota's Lowe Airfield was established on January 12, 1930. Bradenton's was abandoned during World War 2 at an unknown point while Lowe Field closed in 1961.[6][7] The airport was originally built because Lowe Field had: short runways, dangerous landing conditions and the airport was not large enough to handle National Airlines new planes. The Sarasota-Bradenton was agreed to be built in 1939 and by May 1941 the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority was created along with the airport being opened the following year at the cost of $1 million.[8]

Name Origins[edit]

In the 1940s, SRQ was known by its two-character designation, RS. By 1948, growth in aviation demand prompted IATA to coordinate the assignment of three-character codes. The airport initially received the designation "SSO", a short-lived code subject to misinterpretation as the international distress signal, SOS. SRQ was chosen, with "Q" serving as filler text.[9] The airport's IATA airport code, "SRQ", is used as a general nickname for the city of Sarasota and Sarasota area, as exemplified by media outlets like SRQ Magazine,[10] WSRQ radio,[11] and numerous local businesses in the area that include SRQ in their names.

World War II[edit]

In 1942 with the United States entering World War 2 the airport was leased to the Army Air Corps and became known as the Sarasota Army Airfield. The Army Air Corps later added 250 acres making the airport 870 acres. The 97th Bombardment Group was the first group, being transferred from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa for training with B-17 Flying Fortresses staying from March to May. The 97th as well did construction and maintenance, including the construction of barracks and runway repair. After the 97th left, the 92d Operations Group arrived for training and did construction work also. In June the base was designated as a sub base changing its focus from bombers to fighters because the runways could not withstand the bomber's weight. The 69th Fighter Squadron transferred to the airfield from Drew Army Airfield to train with P-39 Airacobras.Sarasota had sub bases in Bartow, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers, and Tampa. While; Immokalee, Lake Wales, Punta Gorda and Winter Haven served as auxiliary fields for the base. After 3 years of use, the base officially closed and was transferred to civilian usage in 1947.[12] Despite it's transfer, the airport and it's facilities deteriorated until the Florida Legislature passed the 1955 Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority Act. This act gave the airport more legal power and guidelines to operate.[13][14]

Post–World War II expansion[edit]

National Airlines was SRQ's first airline, moving from Sarasota's Lowe's Field by 1947; the April 1957 OAG shows six NA departures a day. By June 1959, Sarasota had built a new terminal building for the airport featuring a control tower, a ticketing area, offices, gift shop, coffee shop and a balcony where passengers could watch their planes fly in. Eastern arrived in 1961 and the airport's first jet flights were Eastern 727s in winter 1964–65 (though the longest runway was 5006 ft for a few years after that). It was also reported that by 1959 the airport had roughly 22,000 annual passengers. By the 1960s the airport along with Eastern and National Airlines got two commuter airlines; Executive in 1964 and Florida Air in 1968. Executive even established Sarasota as there southern operations and maintenance base. They flew flights between from Sarasota to Tampa and Fort Myers.[15]

In the late 1970s to the early 1980s, there was a controversial proposal to move the airport by both Sarasota County and Manatee County due to airport overcrowding.[16][17] The move never happened but, the airport's facilities were expanded instead.[18]

September 11 attacks[edit]

Air Force One was at the airport on September 11, 2001. George W. Bush was at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota when Andrew Card first informed him of the September 11, 2001 attacks at 9:05 AM. Bush returned to the airport. The 747 taxied out at 9:54 AM and took off from runway 14 at 9:55 AM flying first to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.[19]

Like many American airports, Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport experienced financial woes after the September 11, 2001 attacks with airlines leaving, such as Canada 3000.

2003 – present[edit]

In 2003 AirTran Airways began service at SRQ to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and Baltimore–Washington International Airport, and by 2011 the airline served six U.S. cities nonstop from SRQ.

In January 2012, AirTran Airways announced that it would drop SRQ on August 12, 2012 as part of its merger with Southwest.[20]

Delta Air Lines is the carrier with the largest market share out of SRQ, with flights to Atlanta, New York LaGuardia Airport, and Boston. The airport has two fixed-base operators: Rectrix Aviation and Dolphin Aviation.


The current President, CEO is Fredrick "Rick" J. Piccolo. The airport is governed by the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. The board is six governor appointed individuals, three from Sarasota County and three from Manatee County, since the airport has portions in each county.[21]


The airport covers 1,102 acres (446 ha) at an elevation of 30 feet (9.1 m). It has two asphalt runways: 14/32 is 9,500 by 150 feet (2,896 x 46 m) and 4/22 is 5,009 by 150 feet (1,527 x 46 m).[2]

In the year ending November 30, 2017 the airport had 101,311 aircraft operations, average 278 per day: 80% general aviation, 11% airline, 8% air taxi, and 2% military. 272 aircraft were then based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 18% jet, 7% multi-engine, 6% helicopter, and <1% ultra-light.[2]

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Air Canada Rouge Seasonal: Toronto–Pearson
Allegiant Air Asheville (begins February 22, 2019), Baltimore (begins February 22, 2019), Cincinnati, Cleveland (begins April 4, 2019), Columbus-Rickenbacker (begins April 4, 2019), Harrisburg (begins April 3, 2019), Indianapolis, Nashville (begins April 5, 2019), Pittsburgh, Richmond (begins April 4, 2019), Syracuse (begins April 3, 2019)
Seasonal: Grand Rapids (begins April 5, 2019)[22]
American Airlines Seasonal: Charlotte [24]
American Eagle Charlotte, Washington–National
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia
Delta Air Lines Atlanta
Seasonal: Detroit, New York–LaGuardia
Delta Connection New York–LaGuardia
Seasonal: Boston (resumes March 2, 2019), New York–JFK
Elite Airways Portland (ME)
Frontier Airlines Cleveland
Seasonal: Atlanta, Philadelphia
JetBlue Airways New York–JFK
Seasonal: Boston
Sun Country Airlines Seasonal charter: Gulfport/Biloxi
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Newark
Seasonal: Denver (begins March 9, 2019)
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Newark


JetBlue operations at SRQ

Top airlines[edit]

Airline and passenger activity (2017)[30]
Rank Carrier Passengers Change




1 Delta Air Lines 650,580 Decrease 1.8% 58.46%
2 American Airlines 211,000 Increase 6.0% 18.59%
3 JetBlue Airways 137,000 Decrease 8.7% 12.32%
4 United Airlines 74,800 Increase 5.2% 6.73%
Others 39,360 Increase 31.1% 3.54%
Total 1,112,740 Increase 0.0%

Top domestic destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from SRQ (Oct 2017 - Sep 2018)[30]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, Georgia 299,030 Delta
2 Charlotte, North Carolina 85,260 American
3 New York–JFK, New York 45,050 Delta, JetBlue
4 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 42,520 United
5 Boston, Massachusetts 31,570 JetBlue
6 Newark, New Jersey 31,250 United
7 New York–La Guardia, New York 30,310 Delta
8 Washington–National, D.C 21,940 American
9 Cincinnati, Ohio 8,190 Allegiant
10 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 6,960 Allegiant

Annual enplanements[edit]

The table lists annual enplanements from the Federal Aviation Administration's Terminal Area Forecast 2011.[31] An enplanement is a revenue generating passenger boarding an aircraft.[32]

Year Air Carrier Commuter International Total
2004 430,554 123,036 0 553,590
2005 496,976 135,148 3,144 635,268
2006 514,406 159,983 12,828 687,217
2007 608,983 170,184 8,805 787,972
2008 577,942 186,256 9,013 773,211
2009 507,162 153,639 9,904 670,705
2010 514,986 134,339 10,980 660,305
Year Enplanements Deplanements Total
2011 658,929 647,535 1,306,464
2012 640,458 632,457 1,272,915
2013 595,604 592,286 1,187,890
2014 601,486 595,611 1,197,097
2015 612,438 607,925 1,220,363
2016 594,167 592,252 1,186,419
2017 593,830 587,502 1,181,332


  1. ^ a b "December Y2016 Monthly Report" (PDF). SRQ Airport. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Airport Master Record for SRQ (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "IATA Airport code Search (SRQ: Sarasota / Bradenton)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  4. ^ "Distance and heading from Bradenton (27°29'N 82°35'W) to KSRQ (27°23'44"N 82°33'16"W)". Great Circle Mapper. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  5. ^ "2017–2021 NPIAS Report, Appendix B" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Municipal Airport/Lowe Field | Sarasota History Alive!". Sarasota History Alive. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "Florida, Southern Tampa area". Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "History of airline service at Sarasota". Sunshine Skies. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". SRQ Airport. November 1, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  10. ^ "SRQ: Living Local in Sarasota and Bradenton Florida". SRQ Magazine.
  11. ^ "WSRQ Sarasota 98.9 FM 106.9 FM 1220 AM". Sarasota Talk Radio. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  12. ^ "Florida's World War II Memorial". Museums of Florida History. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "History | SRQ Airport". Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  14. ^ "House Bill No. 271". Florida Department of State: State Library and Archives of Florida. June 26, 2003. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  15. ^ "History of airline service at Sarasota". Sunshine Skies. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  16. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". Google News. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  17. ^ "St. Petersburg Times - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  18. ^ "History | SRQ Airport". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  19. ^ Pool news report by Judy Keen and Jay Carney on September 11, 2001, posted on USA Today Sept. 11 Resources Archived February 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Jacobs, Karen (January 20, 2012). "Southwest says AirTran to exit six airports". Reuters.
  21. ^ "Airport History". SRQ Airport. Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  22. ^ "Gerald R. Ford Airport Nonstop Routes". Gerald R. Ford Airport.
  23. ^ "Allegiant Announces 10 New Routes and Major Expansion in Sarasota". Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Finaldi, Laura (September 24, 2018). "American adding flights from Philadelphia to Sarasota-Bradenton". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  25. ^ McMorris, Frances (June 25, 2018). "American Airlines to launch Chicago service from Sarasota this year". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  26. ^ Hoopfer, Evan (May 31, 2018). "American Airlines adds new DFW routes, including this tiny Texas town". Tampa Bay Business Journal. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  27. ^ "Delta resumes Boston – Sarasota service in 1Q19". RoutesOnline. September 4, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  28. ^ "Frontier adds two Florida airports in 11-route expansion". Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  29. ^ "United Airlines Expands Spring Schedule: Offering Customers More Flights and More Seats to Popular Spring Break Destinations". Yahoo! Finance. PR Newswire. November 19, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  30. ^ a b "OST_R | BTS | Transtats". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  31. ^ "APO Terminal Area Forecast 2011". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  32. ^ "About TAF (Terminal Area Forecast)". Federal Aviation Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012.

External links[edit]