Study: Punta Gorda Airport brings in $1.7 billion in economic impacts

December 16th, 2022



PUNTA GORDA — The Punta Gorda Airport brought an estimated $1.7 billion in economic impact to Charlotte County in 2021, according to a study.

The airport created 11,319 jobs, $541 million in payroll, $902 million in value added to the region and $1.7 billion in output impact, revealed the Florida Department of Transportation Office of Aviation’s Florida Aviation Economic Impact study.

The study calculated annual monetary contributions of each airport to its local, regional and statewide economies

The results were presented at Thursday’s Charlotte County Airport Authority meeting.

The Punta Gorda Airport is considered a primary small hub commercial service airport with three paved runways — the longest of which measures 7,193 feet long by 150 feet wide. The airport’s two carriers — Allegiant and Sun Country Airlines — connect passengers to more than 50 nonstop destinations throughout the United States.

The board acknowledged that while Hurricane Ian impacted the airport, with no flights for a week and gas sales down after the storm, it will bring in more money and passengers ($1.8 million) than last year.

James Parish, CEO of the airport, said the airport is in good financial shape with $1.4 million in revenue. He said there are several upcoming projects under construction at the airport including runway rehabilitation, new hangars and terminal seating.

Parish said airport officials are watching a bill that would create an ad valorem tax on aviation tenants.

“Airlines have a bigger budget than we do, so having this money would come right back to the airport,” Parish said.

This study determined that Florida’s overall aviation system generated more than $2 billion in jobs and $336 billion in 2021 to the state’s economy, which accounted for 13.5% of Florida’s gross domestic product.

In 2021, Florida logged more than 43 million out-of-state visitors through commercial airports and more than 4.6 million visitors through general aviation airports. There are more than 3,500 businesses operated at Florida airports with 161,000 direct employees.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, members learned the airport is working with its carriers to create more flights to Minnesota.