Richard Strickland, Monroe County Director of Airports, presented the Board of County Commissioners an airport update at the July meeting. The presentation detailed the County's continuing projects at the airport in order to meet the growing number of passengers.
In July, the airport was up 10 percent from last July, and 12 percent overall for the year. This year is expected to surpass 2018’s numbers and is in-line to break one million passengers.
Growth can be contributed to several factors, including a range of aircraft changes in the market. The airport offers direct flights to 12 destinations and in the upcoming peak season, will include New York/La Guardia and Philadelphia with nonstop service. American Airlines will also upgrade the Dallas/Ft. Worth service in December. Top markets include New York/Newark, Washington/Baltimore, Philadelphia, South Florida, and Chicago.
The airport has plans to upgrade the passenger experience by making improvements to the conveyor system in the baggage area and by renovating the departure area. The new terminal expansion will contain additional seating, a family restroom, a pet relief station, a new women's restroom and a renovated men’s restroom. New drinking fountains that can fill water bottles will also be installed.
The airport also has plans to rehabilitate Taxiway A with construction planned to begin in early 2020. The access road will also be reconfiguration for fuel truck delivery area and parking areas.
The projects are funded by a Federal Aviation Administration, Passenger Facility Charge Program, and Florida Department of Transportation grants, and enterprise funding.