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Punta Gorda Airport has more than cheap flights. t’s a proven player in Southwest Florida’s economy, pumping more than $353 million into the area each year, according to a new study made public today.
To be sure, the Charlotte County airport has drawn notice for its exponential passenger growth over the past four years — thanks chiefly to Allegiant Air. But airport Executive Director James Parish added that, “As a landlord, land developer and general aviation airport, we are tightly interconnected with the local economy.”
On Thursday, Charlotte County Airport Authority’s board got its first look at results from the study it commissioned from Indiana-based Volaire Aviation Consulting.
The study report estimates that, regionally, the airport accounts for:
For Charlotte County alone, the report puts the estimated annual economic impact at $208.3 million. Parish called the study findings “conservative. We are happy with the numbers, and aren’t surprised.”
He hopes the findings will come to good use “when there’s a developer looking to do something” in the vicinity of the airport. Punta Gorda Airport served more than 1.1 million passengers in 2016, for a nearly 34 percent increase over 2015. Although it’s part of Lee County, the city of Cape Coral is a logical beneficiary of the airport’s growth.
“It’s a very easy trip up Burnt Store Road,” Parish noted.
Roughly 10 Cape Coral businesses are or have been airport tenants in recent years, according to airport authority records. The city of Cape Coral Economic Development advertises in the airport’s Bailey Terminal. And, the Punta Gorda Airport-based chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the EAA Warbirds include members who are Cape Coral residents."
Source: news-press.com "New report: Punta Gorda airport pumps $353.2 million into SW Florida economy"