History of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (IATA: SRQ, ICAO: KSRQ) was built to combine both airports of Sarasota and Bradenton cities. Therefore, the airport construction plan was ready by 1939, and in 1941 the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority was established.

During World War II the airfield was used by the Army Air Corps and was, therefore, known as the Sarasota Army Airfield. The Army Air Corps extended the airport up to 870 acres. However, later in 1947, the airport was returned to civilian use again. By that time the first airline operating from the airport was National Airlines that deactivated its operations in 1980.

In June 1959, the new terminal building together with the control tower was built. There was a gift shop, ticketing area, offices, the coffee shop added as well. The next airline that joined the airport was Eastern that provided the jet flight served by Eastern 727s.

Notably, in 1959 the airport managed to serve about 22.000 passengers successfully.

In 2003 the airport was joined by AirTran Airways that was serving six international destinations from the airport by 2011. In 2012 Delta Airlines announced the increase in their operations out of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport despite their bankruptcy.